Income Tax and National Insurance (Social Security)

Whether you will have to pay tax in the UK will depend on where you are coming from and how long you expect to spend in the country.  Typically, people taking permanent or long-term jobs here should expect to pay UK income tax and National Insurance (social security).  People coming for shorter visits, for example, less than 183 days in any one year period, might not need to pay any UK tax, depending on the rules of the tax agreement made between the UK and their own country.

We have an experienced tax team who will be able to assist, based on the specific details of your assignment.

The income tax year in the UK runs from 6 April to the following 5 April.

Income tax

Income tax is generally paid on all your earnings, including wages, interest from savings and investments, and any rental income.  You may also have to pay tax on your pensions and other benefits.

The amount of income tax you pay depends on how much you earn and tax rate bands are subject to annual change.  If paid by a UK organisation, your tax payments will be automatically be taken out of your salary.

Depending on your home country’s tax rules and how long you will be based in the UK, you may also still have to pay tax in your home country.  The UK has formed agreements with many countries to ensure that individuals will only have to pay tax in one location, and for countries where no agreement exists, the UK rules ensure individuals do not suffer a double tax charge on their income.


National Insurance (Social Security)

‘National Insurance’ is the UK’s social security scheme.  Whether you are required to make National Insurance contributions will depend on how long you will be working in the UK for, and the amount will depend on your salary.  Your contribution will automatically be taken out of your salary.

How to apply for a National Insurance number

You can only apply for a National Insurance number once you’re in the UK and have a postal address and phone number.  It is possible to start your new job before your National Insurance number has arrived, however, it’s advisable to get one as soon as possible as otherwise you could be taxed incorrectly.

You can apply for a National Insurance number by telephone on 0345 600 0643; lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. You will find more information about applying for a National Insurance number on