HMRC is reassuring students who’ve paid tax while working a summer job that they may be able to claim it back.

The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system used by UK employers gives each worker a personal tax-free allowance of £11,500 for a tax year.

This means you can earn up to this amount without paying any tax – but the way this works in practice isn’t quite so straightforward.

An amount of your allowance gets used every time you get paid, so if you earn £1,000 for a month’s work your employer will calculate how much tax you should pay as if you were working for the rest of the tax year.

If your earnings are only from a short-term job, maybe one or two months, you are unlikely to have gone over the £11,500 threshold and will be eligible for a tax refund.

You can do this online by accessing your Personal Tax Account and applying for an Income Tax refund via an automated P50 form.

Students working a part-time job all year round might earn more than £11,500 and therefore would be liable to pay tax.

HMRC said summer work does not count towards student loan repayments if you are still enrolled on a course.

Last month, research from Aviva showed the average student room contains more than £2,000 worth of possessions.

The study also revealed that thousands of students are failing to get their stuff insured. 

The contents of the average student room add up to £2,184 with tech equipment such as laptops and phones worth more than £1,000.

But some 615,000 students have no insurance in place, even though many could be covered quickly on their parents’ policy.

“For those living in university accommodation, an Aviva standard household contents policy provides £5,000 cover for items ‘temporarily removed from the home’,” said Louise Colley, Aviva’s customer director.

“So, providing the student lives at home outside of term time, their belongings will be covered.

“And if the family policy has personal belongings cover, too, this means the students’ bits and pieces outside their digs are also protected – at no extra cost.”