If you are currently considering new career opportunities or plan to leave your role for a new one soon, then you will need to obtain a P45 document. However, a lot of people do not understand what the P45 document is for, and how it can directly affect them and their pay cheque. So, we’ve outlined the key things you need to know about your P45.

What is a P45?

A P45 is an official certificate that your employer will give to you when you terminate your employment with them. It will have a number of details on the document including:

  • Tax code
  • Gross pay
  • The amount of tax you have paid for the year
  • Employer details

This document will then be passed onto your new employer after you have left the company. It is important to note that it is your company’s responsibility to provide you with this document, you shouldn’t have to request it, but if they don’t send it to you then it is within your right to ask that it be sent to your address or your new employer’s address.

Getting a P45

Although your employer should be proactive in providing you with a P45 when you leave the business, some people are unaware of the circumstances in which you should receive a P45 document. A P45 should not only be provided when you have chosen to move onto another company, but also if you have retired and therefore aren’t moving to another role, or if your employment has been terminated. P45 documents aren’t rewarded to you as an employee, they are an official document that you have a right to receive when leaving a company.

If you have lost your P45, then you can simply request a new one from your employer and they should provide it to you.

Starting a new job without a P45

The P45 document is important when you are starting a new role, as it ensures your employer knows which tax code should be applied to your first pay cheque. If your new employer hasn’t been sent this document prior to your pay date, then you may end up paying too much tax. This can be an issue as you will typically have to wait until the end of the tax year to receive a reimbursement of the excess tax you have paid. Use our salary calculator to find out if you are paying the correct amount of tax.

What is a P46?

For those entering into their first role, a P46 form is used in replacement of a P45. If a professional didn’t receive a P45 upon leaving their last company, then a P46 will also be used. In this case, the employee will be asked to fill out a new starter checklist form. This form will ask for personal details about previous employment and will help determine which tax code should be used before your first pay date. 

If you are looking for more information about how to progress in your career, why not browse our extensive library of career advice content today. Alternatively, if you are looking for a new opportunity, please get in touch with your local Michael Page office today.

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