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Income tax

All employees and workers in the UK must pay income tax. In the UK, most employees and workers’ pay Income Tax through the Pay As You Earn system (PAYE), which means that tax is automatically deducted from your salary each month.

If you have not worked in the UK before, when you start work for the first time the University will provide you with a tax form known as a ‘P46’. You need to complete and return this to the University, who will then provide you with a tax code which will determine how much tax will be taken from your salary. You will also require a National Insurance Number (see below).

If you are resident in the UK and have income from another country, you may be able to claim tax relief or an exemption so that you do not end up paying tax twice. The UK holds double taxation agreements with a number of countries.

Tax year

The tax year in the UK runs from 6 April to 5 April. If you arrive in the UK mid-tax year, you only pay tax on the income you have earned since the date you started work.

Tax bands

The amount of tax you pay depends on how much you earn. These are known as ‘tax bands’. For the 2016/2017 tax year, the tax bands are as follows:

Employee personal allowance

(This is the amount you can be paid before you are eligible to pay any tax)

£212 per week; or
£917 per month; or
£11,000 per year

Basic tax rate

20% on annual earnings above the personal allowance and up to £32,000

Higher tax rate

40% on annual earnings from £32,001 to £150,000

Additional tax rate

45% on annual earnings above £150,000

These tax bands can vary year upon year. For further information on tax bands, see the Income Tax Rates section of the Gov.uk website.

National Insurance Number

As an employee you are required to pay National Insurance contributions. Your contributions are deducted from your salary before it’s paid to you. In order to pay National Insurance, you need a National Insurance number. This is your own personal account number and it never changes even if you go abroad or change your name.

If you do not have a National Insurance number you will need to apply to obtain one via JobCentre Plus. You can contact then from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. You may need to attend a local interview to obtain a National Insurance number. Waiting times for appointments may be several weeks. Your personal number will be issued to you a few weeks after the interview.

Note: if you are a non-EEA national holding a Tier 2 (General) visa, you may already have been issued a National Insurance number in advance of arrvial in the UK which means you do not need to apply for one. Your National Insurance number will be noted on the reverse side of your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Further guidance is available on the Gov.uk webpages.

You can start work for the University without first obtaining a National Insurance number. In those circumstances, the payroll section will create a temporary number for you, but you must still obtain a permanent number and, once issued, this must be passed to the University.

For further information, see the National Insurance Number section of the Gov.uk website.