1185L-W1 or 1185L-M1

 These figures were correct for the 2018/19 tax year.

1185L was the most common tax code in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the 2018/19 tax year, which started on 6th April 2018. You usually get a new tax code at the beginning of a tax year because this is often when changes to your personal allowance come into effect.

In Scotland, the equivalent tax code was S1185L.

What does it mean?

Nearly everyone is entitled to a tax-free personal allowance, which means that a certain amount of your earnings each year are paid to you without being taxed. If your tax code includes 1185L, it means your allowance is £11,850.

It is given to you in equal portions throughout the year. For example, if you are paid weekly, your allowance is equivalent to £228 per week. If you’re paid monthly, it’s £988 per month.

Unless you’re in Scotland, any earnings over and above your personal allowance will be taxed as follows:

  • 20% on earnings up to £34,500
  • 40% on earnings between £34,501 and £150,000
  • 45% on earnings above £150,000

So, what if your tax code is 1185L-W1 or 1185L-M1? Having W1 or M1 attached to your code means it is a non-cumulative tax code. The tax due on each payment is therefore determined without taking into account any tax you’ve already paid this year, or how much of your tax-free personal allowance has been used. In other words, it can result in you overpaying tax. If you see either of these codes on your payslip, you might want to double check if this is the best tax code for you.