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National insurance contributions (NIC) - How do I pay national insurance contributions?

National insurance is a tax on your earnings that goes into the National Insurance Fund which pays for various benefits. This guide covers some basic information about NIC.

How do I pay national insurance contributions?

Class 1 (employees): Paid through your earnings. It is taken out of your gross wages by your employer who just pays you the net amount.

Class 2 (self-employed only): Since April 2015, Class 2 has been paid via self-assessment, so you will pay Class 2 at the same time as Class 4.  It will be due as part of the payment due on 31 January following the end of the tax year.  For example, Class 2 for 2018/19 will be due on 31 January 2020.  If your income is below the small profits threshold, no Class 2 will be due, though you can choose to pay voluntary contributions.  If you might have to rely on Class 2 contributions for entitlement to certain benefits, for example Maternity Allowance, you may need to pay Class 2 NIC before the self-assessment deadline.  You should contact HMRC to find out how to do this.

Class 3 (voluntary): Paid normally by quarterly bill or monthly by Direct Debit or by making an annual lump sum payment.

Class 4 (self employed only on profits): Paid with the income tax on your profits through self assessment.


Reviewed: August 2017

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