What is a P11D? Everything You Need to Know About the Employee Benefits Tax Form

The tax form for employee perks and benefits.

If you’re wondering, “what is a P11D?” you’ve come to the right place. 

A P11D form is one of the PAYE forms used by your employer and HMRC to show how much tax and National Insurance you paid over the previous tax year. But rather than focussing on the salary that goes into your bank account, it relates to any “benefits in kind” you get as a perk of your employment. 

Here, you’ll find the P11D explained. We’ll take you through what a P11D form is, when you might get one, and employers’ responsibilities when producing them. 

P11D meaning: What’s the difference between the P11D, the P60, and the P45?

The P11D is in the same family of tax forms as the P60 (which shows how much tax you paid on your salary during a full tax year) and the P45 (which shows how much tax you paid if you left your job before the end of the tax year). 

The difference is that the P11D is about the tax paid on the equivalent cash value of benefits and expenses like your accommodation, company car, or employee health insurance. 

What’s the purpose of a P11D? 

A P11D is a tax form for people who pay their taxes as they earn (PAYE).  It shows the tax you pay on the benefits you’re entitled to as part of your employment with a particular company. 

For example, imagine your company pays for private health insurance for you and your family as part of your contract. It’s not the case that your salary is topped up, and then you pay for the insurance from your bank account. Instead, the insurance is paid by your employer directly. Your bank account isn’t involved at all. 

But the health insurance is still a part of what your employer “pays” you, and it has an equivalent cash value. 

Because HMRC is interested in the total amount you earn in the course of the year, all the benefits you get as part of your job must be declared so that their value can be taken into account. This way, HMRC can calculate how much tax you owe, even if part of your salary isn’t technically in cash. 

Enter the P11D. 

The full title of this form is “P11D Expenses and benefits”. It’s a grey A4 form, which includes details like your: 

  • National insurance number 
  • Date of birth 
  • Employer’s name 
  • Employer’s PAYE reference number

The main body of the form has information about the different benefits categories you might have had to pay tax on. For example: 

  • Assets transferred: This refers to things like a company car, accommodation, or laptop your employer gives you so you can do your job. Importantly, this is for things that then belong to you, rather than things you borrow or rent while you’re employed — those belong in a separate category. 
  • Vouchers or credit cards where your company pays this bill. This could include childcare vouchers. 
  • Mileage and fuel allowance: If your employer covers the costs of your petrol or wear-and-tear to your vehicle when you travel for work. 
  • Interest-free loans: For example, if your employer lets you borrow money to cover the cost of the rail season ticket you use for your commute. This might include anything you buy through a salary sacrifice scheme, like an e-bike or home office equipment. 
  • Relocation allowance: If your employer helped you with the cost of moving house when you first started working. 
  • Insurance payments: This could be for things like your medical coverage while working for the company. 
  • Services supplied: For example, if you choose to buy something your company provides at a reduced rate. This discount also counts as a benefit. 
  • Professional fees like your annual subscription to a professional organisation. If your employer has paid for you to study for a qualification or go on a training course, it might also be included here. 

Each section of the form records the details of the benefit (such as the make and model of the car you drive for work) and its market value. The last box in each category then shows how much tax was due. 

Who pays the P11D tax?

Because the form is about money that never rests in your account, and because the tax isn’t deducted as you earn, it can be tricky to understand who is paying for the taxes detailed on your P11D. 

Technically, you’ve already paid the tax recorded on the P11D. Your employee benefits have a cash equivalent and are technically part of your salary. They just can’t be written down on a pay slip at the end of every month. 

So, does getting a P11D mean that you owe more money? 

No! Like the P45 and P60, the P11D shows how much tax you paid over the previous financial year. It’s your employer notifying you of tax and National Insurance that has already been taken from your salary. That means getting a P11D doesn’t necessarily mean you owe more money. 

If you owe HMRC money, you’ll be notified using a P800 tax calculation letter and not with a P11D, P60, or P45. 

And, if you think you’ve paid too much tax and need to claim a rebate, your P11D is an integral part of this process. This is because you’ll need to prove your whole salary — including benefits — when you apply.  

Do I need to do a tax return if I have a P11D? 

If you do a self-assessment tax return and have a P11D, you need to enter the information on the P11D into the employment section of the self-assessment forms. 

If you only earn through PAYE, you may not have to self-assess your taxes, even if you have additional benefits. The P11D is often enough. However, there are so many different situations that it’s always best to check with your employer or HMRC to determine if you need to complete your tax return. You can also use this tool on gov.uk to find out.

When is the P11D deadline for employers? 

Your employer has to submit your P11D before the 6th of July, which follows the end of the tax year. 

So, if you need a P11D for benefits you received during the 2022/23 tax year, they’ll have three months after the end of the tax year (5th April 2023) to submit the form before 6th July 2023. 

Although many payroll software programmes automatically generate the forms, it can take some time to make sure all the information is correct, especially as every employee at a company may take advantage of different benefits. 

It’s crucial that your employer stays on top of submitting the forms for all the employees who need one. There are hefty fines if they come in late or don’t have all the necessary details. 

And remember, although your employer isn’t legally obligated to give you a copy of your P11D in the same way as they have to provide you with your P45 or P60, they do have to let you know how much your employee benefits are worth. 

If they don’t give you a P11D automatically, you can also ask for a copy. This is true even after you’ve left a job. Your employer has to hold onto this information for six years after you leave the company. 

P11D guide: final thoughts 

If you receive benefits in kind or your employer covers some of your expenses as part of your salary, they’ll generate a P11D on your behalf. This important tax form shows how much tax you paid on the cash equivalent of things like your company accommodation, travel tickets, a work laptop, and so on. 

You might only get your P11D if you ask for it. But if your employer pays you in more than cash, it might be worth requesting a copy for your records in case you ever need to claim back any tax you overpaid. 

The deadline for sending P11Ds to HMRC is three months after the end of the tax year (July 6th), so you should be able to access your copy for the previous tax year by then. 

Also read:
What is a P60 in the UK? (Full Guide)
All You Need To Know About Your SA302
Your Simple Guide to Self-Employed National Insurance