UCL Human Resources


Tax and National Insurance

UCL tax office details and understanding your tax and NI contributions

Tax and NI

UCL’s tax office details are as follows: UCL’s tax office reference number is 951/U3

You can write to HMRC for help with questions about Income Tax, including PAYE, tax codes, Marriage Allowance and personal details using the following address

HM Revenue and Customs
PAYE and Self Assessment

Phone: 0300 200 3300

If you wish to contact the National Insurance Contributions office, please visit their website. You will be required to quote your National Insurance Number for all enquiries.

Your National Insurance number

Your National Insurance number is your own personal account number. The number makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded on your account. It also acts as a reference number for the whole social security system.

Understanding your tax code and NI contribution letter

Tax is calculated based on your tax code and tax thresholds. Your tax code is usually notified to UCL through a P45, P46 or Starter Declaration or via HMRC. If your previous employer has issued you with a P45 please ensure you hand it to payroll. If you do not have a P45, please complete a P46 or Starter Declaration and forward this to Payroll Services. The P46 or Starter Declaration is available in the Forms section of the Payroll Services website.

Tax Codes

A tax code is usually made up of a set of numbers and a letter. There are many different tax codes in operation for individuals, but below is a brief example of some of the most common tax codes. Where your tax code consists of a number and then a letter, this will express the amount of free pay you have available before tax is assessed against your income.

For example, tax code 1000L means that you can earn £10000.00 per annum before paying any tax. Just replace the ending letter with a 5 to understand how much you can earn per year before payment of tax. If your tax code is different from numbers then a letter, please contract Payroll services who will be happy to discuss your individual coding and what this means for you.

1250L - This is the emergency and standard tax code. Most employees will correctly be on this code

BR - This is basic rate tax code. Typically this is used for employees that have other sources of income including payments from an Occupational  Pension Scheme

0T - This is a code that means you have no allowances taken into consideration. It is usually used if we have received no notification of a tax code (via Starter Declaration/P45 or HMRC). 

K(followed by numbers) – A K code is where your personal allowances are lower than deductions due for benefits or outstanding tax for prior years as advised by HMRC. We will only operate this code if advised via a P45 or directly through HMRC. If you are unsure why you have a K code you should contact HMRC .

Tax Thresholds

Tax Thresholds are updated as per the annual budget statement from the chancellor.

  • Basic Rate Tax (20% for 2019/2020)
  • Basic Rate Tax (20%) and Higher Rate Tax (40%) (For 2019/2020)
  • Higher Rate Tax (40%) only. This is if your tax code is D0.
  • Additional Rate Tax (45%) only. This is if your tax code is D1

Once you have taken your free pay from your earnings, tax will be assessed as per the thresholds listed above.

Rates and thresholds can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2019-to-2020

Month One Indicator

If your tax code is followed by a letter "X" or "1" this means that tax will be assessed against your taxable earnings in that month. Otherwise tax will be accessed on a cumulative basis. A cumulative basis will take into account your earnings for the entire tax year before assessing how much tax should be paid this period. The Month One indicator mean that tax will be calculated solely on your earnings this period, and will not assess this against your earnings and tax paid to date during the tax year.

NI contribution Letter

This dictates the % of National Insurance you pay on your contributions. Examples of common National insurance contribution letters are as follows:

A – Standard Rate NI. Employees pay 12% and then 2%.

C – For employees who have reached state retirement age. No NI is due.

M - For employees under 21 pay 12% and then 2%.

NI Thresholds

The percentages above are payable where earnings have reached the levels below:

For tax year 2019/20 the monthly amounts are:

£0 - £719 = No NI Due

£720 - £4167 = Apply relevant %

£4168 and over = 2% NI due

The NI contribution letter dictates the amount of NI payable. If you are on a different NI contribution letter, and wish to find out the % that is payable in your individual circumstance, please contract Payroll Services who will be happy to advise.

Click Here to use the HMRC National Insurance Calculator

Self Assessment

Tax is usually deducted automatically from your wages but some people with other income must report it in a tax return. The deadline for completing your online tax return each year is 31st January, HMRC can impose penalties and surcharges if you miss this deadline. For more information on the deadlines and penalties please follow this link. www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/

For information on who needs to complete a self assessment please refer to the HMRC website.

At the end of May a P60 end of year form is sent out to all employees who were employed at UCL on the 6th April, you will need this form to complete your tax return.

If you cannot find this form then the information is available on the MyHR Self-Service system.

If you have problems logging into MyHR Self-Service then please contact the HR Helpdesk  or any employee who does not have access to MyHR Self-Service then please contact HR Services.


When completing your Self Assessment you may need to declare any expenses or benefits to the HMRC, to do this you will need a P11D, P11Ds are provided by Finance & Business Affairs, for further details please contact

Mr Hiten Ruparelia
Telephone number: 020 3108 3055  or internally on 53055
Email: h.ruparelia@ucl.ac.uk


Students pay the same level of tax as all employees. That is any amount over an individual’s personal allowance become chargeable to tax. Students also pay the same level of National Insurance as all employees. There are no personal allowances for NI instead there is a threshold and you will only start paying NI contributions when you earn over this threshold in a calendar month.

The monthly threshold for the tax year 2019/2020 is £719 therefore if your earnings are below this amount then you will not pay National Insurance.

Click here for further details of Tax and National Insurance

A student Tax Checker is available on the HMRC website.

Student loans are paid from your salary when your earnings reach either £1577.91 (plan 1) or £2143.75 (plan 2) in a month at the rate of 9% for all earnings over this amount.
There are three ways that payroll are notified of student loan deductions being due, these are:-

  • By ticking the relevant box when complete a Starter Declaration form.
  • When we receive a P45 form there will be a Y in the relevant box.
  • We get notified by the HMRC that deductions are due.

When you have repaid you loan in full the Student Loans Company will notify the HMRC who will in turn notify us that payments are to cease. 

Postgraduate loans are paid from your salary when your earnings reach £1,750.00 in a month at a rate of 6% for all earnings over this amount.

How to reduce your Tax / NI liability

There are many ways in which to reduce the amount of Tax and NI you pay on your salary. Below are a few of the most popular options:

  • Join one of our pension schemes - pension contributions are tax and NI free and you will pay a lower rate of NI on the remainder of your earnings if you are in one of our final salary pension schemes. Read more about UCL Pension Services
  • Claim child care vouchers - if you are eligible to claim child care vouchers from KiddiVouchers they are tax and NI exempt up to £243 per month. You should check whether childcare vouchers or tax credits offer the best value for money for you (or a combination of the two).
    Read more about childcare vouchers at UCL
  • Workplace Nursery – UCL has a workplace nursery. If you place your child here and are eligible to enter the salary sacrifice scheme, you will have your salary reduced to the monthly cost of the nursery facility. You will save tax and NI on the full amount of your nursery fees. There is no upper limit. Read more about the UCL Nursery.
  • Cycle Scheme – Through joining the UCL cycle scheme you can make savings on the amount of tax and NI payable to the value of the bike. Read more about the UCL Cycle Scheme
  • Give As You Earn – You can give to a registered charity through the payroll free from tax deductions. Read more about Give As You Earn
  • Check your NI employee contributions. If you are over the State Retirement age you no longer have to pay NI employee contributions. If you hold a Certificate of Age Exception send it in to Payroll Services as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can send a copy of another document with proof of age, i.e. Birth Certificate, Driving Licence or Passport, that has been verified by your department. If you are over 65 you may also be entitled to higher Tax allowances, if so, make sure that Revenue and Customs have given them to you.
  • Subscriptions and professional fees. If you pay for these yourself, look into HMRC web pages to see if you are able to claim tax relief on the value.

At the end of May a P60 end of year form is sent out to all employees who were employed at UCL on the 6th April, you will need this form to complete your tax return. If you cannot find this form then the information is available on the MyHR Self-Service system.

If you have problems logging into MyHR Self-Service then please contact the HR Helpdesk or any employee who does not have access to MyHR Self-Service then please contact your Payroll Administrator who will be happy to assist you.