Methods of calculating tax

Emergency basis


The information on this page refers to your current obligations. For your obligations before 1 January 2019, please see the Employers Guide to PAYE.

You must operate Emergency Tax when no Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN) is available.

You will not receive an RPN if:

Applying Emergency Tax

Different rules for Emergency Tax apply depending on whether the employee has given you their PPSN.

Where the employee provides a PPSN

Your employee gives you their PPSN, but no RPN is available. Give your employee a tax cut-off point for their first four weeks of employment. This is based on the single person tax cut-off point for the year.

You tax their income at the standard rate until week 4. From week 5 onwards income is taxed at the higher rate.

The Emergency Tax rates, rates bands and tax credits are available in Emergency Basis of Tax Deduction.

Where the employee does not provide their PPSN

You must tax an employee at the higher rate of tax with no tax credits. If an employee gives you their PPSN after this, you must apply for a RPN. You should operate on the details returned on the RPN.

If no RPN is available at this point, you must apply normal Emergency Tax rules.

Emergency Tax is continuous

You might have an employee that works for you for separate periods over the year. If this employee is on Emergency Tax, you count every week starting from the date they began working for you. This applies even if the employee does not work each week.

Next: Tax exemption and marginal relief