On the 14th November 2016 published Closer alignment of income tax and national insurance: a further review
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) are therefore recommending that government make changes to make NI more like PAYE.
This isn’t a new idea, its been kicked around since 1943! and George Osborn said it was good idea in his last budget
Will it get a mention in tomorrows Autumn Statement?
You pay National Insurance contributions to qualify for certain benefits including the State Pension.
You pay National Insurance if you’re:
- 16 or over
- an employee earning above £155 a week
- self-employed and making a profit of £5,965 or more a year
The Office of Tax Simplification is currently beginning a process of looking at merging National Insurance with Income Tax.
ACCA’s head of tax Chas Roy-Chowdhury warned that an alignment of NI and income tax rates would be crucial prior to a merger taking place.
Whilst This is Money reported…
Middle and high earners could see their tax bills jump under radical plans to merge income tax and National Insurance, a tax expert has warned.
People taking home £50,000 a year could be £230 worse off, but low earners on £20,000 would save more than £530, and those on £30,000 would come out around £380 ahead, according to snap research by Tilney Bestinvest on the potential tax shake-up.
Chancellor George Osborne wants to reduce ‘complexity’ in the tax system to make it clearer exactly how much people have to cough up, and has ordered the Office of Tax Simplification to see if there is a case for change.
This change is also likely to lead to changes to Pension tax relief reform, Your Money
The government has already announced a consultation on the pension tax relief system, and I believe that a merger of income tax and NI would likely result in the floated idea of a pension with ISA-like tax treatment. This is because at present, a basic rate taxpayer gets 20% tax relief on pension payments but surely this would increase to 32% under a combined system. It seems illogical to increase tax relief at a time when they are actually trying to reduce the cost to the Exchequer. An equal tax treatment of ISAs and pensions could be a prelude to merging the two, potentially drawing ISAs into some form of limetime allowance.
From 6th April 2015 every employer with employees under the age of 21 will no longer be required to pay class 1 secondary NI on earnings below the upper earnings limit (£815 per week).
In line with the change, HMRC are introducing 7 new National Insurance Table Letters to be used from April 2015 to cater for these employees as follows:
Three of the new letters (V, I and K) will be removed in April 2016 in line with the ending of ‘contracted-out’ status in relation to salary-related occupational pension schemes. [Brightpay]
From 12 October 2015 to 5 April 2017 you’ll be able to make a ‘Class 3A voluntary contribution’ to top up your State Pension by up to £25 per week.
You can choose to top up your State Pension by between £1 and £25 per week. How much you’ll need to contribute depends on:
- how much extra pension you want to get each week
- how old you are when you make the contribution
Unlike Income Tax which is cumulative and assessed across all earnings, National Insurance starts from zero on each individual employment and you also pay National Insurance on Self Employed earnings.
So if you are a Director of multiple businesses paid as an employee its easy to see how you could over pay and you might not even realise because National Insurance is not shown on your Self Assessment Return.
You can also over pay National Insurance if you are a part time employee with multiple employers and irratic earnings, this because National Insurance is calculated on a weekly/monthly basis, not a cumulative basis and its by employer.
What you need to do
Write to HM Revenue and Customs confirming:
- your National Insurance number
- why you’ve overpaid
- the tax year(s) you’ve overpaid
You should include your P60 or a statement from your employer showing the tax and National Insurance for each year you’re claiming for.
You should apply within 6 years of the tax year you’re claiming for.
HM Revenue and Customs
National Insurance Contributions Office
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
The Tax Payer’s Alliance have been campaigning and it looks like the Chancellor, George Osborne, has agreed that the first step is to re-name National Insurance as “Earnings Tax”. The change is to be proposed in legislation this week.
This story was reported in the Telegraph on 23rd February. There is also an interesting article on Tax Research UK (Richard Murphy).
You pay National Insurance contributions to build up your entitlement to certain state benefits, including the State Pension.
You pay National Insurance if you’re:
- 16 or over
- an employee earning above £149 a week
- self employed and making a profit over £7,755 a year (Class 4) plus £2.70 per week Class 2 NI (you may not have to pay any Class 2 NI if your profits are below £5,725)
If you’re employed, you stop paying Class 1 National Insurance when you reach the State Pension age.
If you’re self-employed you stop paying:
- Class 2 National Insurance when you reach State Pension age (or up to 4 months after this to pay off any contributions you owe)
- Class 4 National Insurance from the start of the tax year after the one in which you reach State Pension age
Income Tax is whole different ball game. Whilst I can see its simpler to have one tax the changes that would be required to achieve it would be huge!
Is it worthwhile?
On the 6th April 2014 the personal allowance will increase to £10,000 (up £560) which means you can earn £10,000 before you pay income tax.
But you might want to keep your earnings below the NI Threshold, in previous years the employers and employee’s NI thresholds have been out of alignment but from 6th April 2014 they will be aligned, which means that earnings over £153 per week (£7,956 per year) will attract both 12% employees’ NI and 13.8% employers’ NI. For earnings above £805 per week (£41,865 per year), the employees’ NI rate drops to 2% but the employers’ NI rate remains unchanged.
So to avoid Income Tax and NI you would need to earn below £7,956.
But, there is some good news, from April 2014 there is a new ’employment allowance’ of £2,000 which you can offset against your employers NI.
Under the Regional Employers NICs Holiday scheme, new businesses could have qualified for a deduction of up to £5,000 from the employer NICs that would normally be due – for each of the first ten employees they take on.
The National Insurance contributions (NICs) holiday was available to new businesses that started up during the period from 22 June 2010 to 5 September 2013. So it has now ended.
But from April 2014 the good news is that every employer will save up to £2,000.
To take advance of the allowance, firms will simply have to inform HM Revenue & Customs, and the Treasury says it will be “delivered through standard payroll software”.
Up to 450,000 small businesses will no longer pay national insurance contributions from April 2014.
The allowance will cost almost £6bn over five years.
When George Osbourne announced it in the budget he said:
“For the person who’s set up their own business, and is thinking about taking on their first employee – a huge barrier will be removed. They can hire someone on £22,000, or four people on the minimum wage, and pay no jobs tax,”
So we look forward to claiming our £2,000 next year.
Until now if you were a sleeping partner – that is, you took no active part in running the business and only supplied capital and took a share of the profits then you were exempt from National Insurance.
But HMRC have changed their mind, in an announcement on 4th April 2013 they said:
HMRC now considers that Sleeping and inactive Limited Partners are—and have in the past been—liable to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) as self employed earners and Class 4 NICs in respect of their taxable profits. “Inactive Limited Partners” are Limited Partners who take no active part in running the business. This view represents a change from that previously held by HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Sleeping or inactive Limited Partners who have not paid Class 2 or Class 4 NICs for a past period will not be required by HMRC to pay those contributions.
Sleeping and inactive Limited Partners who are not already paying Class 2 NICs should register on form SA401. Such partners should record the nature of the business being carried out at box 15 on the form as either Sleeping Partner or inactive Limited Partner.
Not good news if you’re an investor who wants a share of the profits, sounds like a good reason to convert to a limited company and pay dividends.
Whether or not you pay tax on your part-time job depends on how much you earn, not on the number of hours you work. Everyone receives a certain amount of income in each tax year on which no tax has to be paid. This is called the Personal Allowance (£8,105 in 2012-2013). If your earnings from your part-time job are below this, then you do not have to pay tax on them. If your earnings are more than this, you will pay tax on the difference.
One advantage to having multiple part time jobs is National Insurance, each job has its own allowance which means you end up not paying any NI (and so could your employer). However, there is a risk of aggregation (treated as from one source) if the jobs are related.
Students often work during the holidays and then return to full time education and use form P50 to reclaim their tax withour waiting till the end of the tax year, here is a link to P50
You don’t have to be a student to use P50 it can be used by anyone stopping work or retiring.