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Paying tax in the UK

You may have to pay tax if you work in the UK. There are two main types of tax people pay when working in the UK and the amount you pay will depend on how much you are earning.

Income Tax

Income Tax in the UK is a tax you pay on money you make when working here. However, you have to earn above a certain amount to start paying.   

You will not pay Income Tax on the first £12,570 you earn during the tax year. This is called your personal allowance. After that the following applies when calculated monthly:

  • For amounts between £1,048.01 - £4,189 per month, you will pay 20% Income Tax
  • For amounts between £4,189.01 - £12,500 per month, you will pay 40% Income Tax
  • Over £12,500 per month, you will pay 45% Income Tax

National Insurance

National Insurance is also a tax you pay on money you make when working here. Again, you have to earn above a certain amount to start paying.

You will not pay National Insurance on the first £797 you earn per month which if kept consistent over a year would work out as £9,564 per year. After that the following applies when calculated monthly:

  • For amounts between £797.01 - £4,189 per month, you will pay 12% National Insurance
  • For amounts over £4,189 per month, you will pay 2% National Insurance

Further tax information

You can use the UK Government's tax calculator to find out how much tax you will pay on your earnings. This can help you budget your income accurately.

It is important that you know how the tax rules operate in your home country when working in the UK. Some countries may require you to declare earnings you make in the UK and file a tax return in your home country.


National Insurance number

To work in the UK you need to obtain a National Insurance number. This is a number, unique to you, which ensures your employer is able to pay your tax and National Insurance contributions and have them correctly recorded against your name.

For information about how to apply for a National Insurance number please see the Gov.UK website.

You can apply for jobs and start work without a National Insurance number but will need to apply for one as soon as possible when you find a job.