What Is A P38s Form?

If you are wondering what a P38s form is and how it is used for tax purposes, you will find the answer to your question; as well as detailed guidance in the following blog post regarding the P38s form, its purpose and the alternatives available since its discontinuation by HMRC.

What Is A P38s Form?

A P38s form was used by students in previous years to declare their student status and enjoy a tax-free income while working part-time jobs during their holidays. The purpose of the P38s form was to avoid overpayment of taxes by students as their earnings were limited to the summer or Christmas holidays.

While full-time students still continue to work in the holiday season, they no longer require the P38s form to avoid overpayment of taxes as they fill in the required paperwork in the same manner as full-time employees, liable for tax do in the UK.

The UK Government withdrew the P38s form in April 2013 and it was established that students working during the holiday season will no longer have a tax-free income and will be taxed in the same way as full-time employees who work around the year.

That said, students would also be able to avail of the tax-free Personal Allowance that benefits full-time employees and be able to deduct allowances from their incomes.

How Do Students Pay Taxes Without The P38 Form?

Students in the UK can still pay their taxes and claim a refund on overpaid taxes without the P38(S) Form for Student Employees.

If you are a student with a job, you may have noticed that tax is deducted from your paycheck through the PAYE system by your employer as they are responsible for making sure the correct amount is taken out and given to HM Revenue & Customs. 

The amount of tax you pay depends on your income and student status. If you earn less than £12,570 in the 2022/23 tax year, you won’t have to pay income tax but will still need to pay National Insurance contributions (NIC). 

On the other hand, if you paid too much tax, you can get a refund from HMRC by completing a tax return and asking for reimbursement. 

However, many students make mistakes when claiming refunds which you should be careful about. For instance, some students forget to report all their income, others pay the wrong amount of tax, and some miss out on refunds they are entitled to.

How Do Students Claim A Tax Refund Without The P38 Form?

If you are a student who may have overpaid their taxes, you can claim a tax refund from HMRC in one of the following two ways:

However, you can only do this after receiving the last of your payments from your employer and by confirming that you meet the eligibility criteria stated in the form; especially regarding returning to full-time education.

Once you fill in the form with your employment and income details, it usually takes HMRC 14 days to process your request. If your request for a tax refund is approved, you will either receive a cheque from HMRC or have the money transferred by them to your bank account.


This blog post has discussed how students in the UK who work part-time in summer pay tax and claim a refund in the absence of the P38s form. It is important for students to be aware of their tax obligations and make sure that they are paying the correct amount of tax. If students have any questions about tax even after going through the above content, they should contact HMRC for advice.


P38(S) 2008 – Student Employees

Employer return post-capture: form P38(S) (Action Guide) – HMRC internal manual – GOV.UK

Students warned to fill out P38(S) tax forms | This is Money

Student tax refunds – are you owed money?