National Insurance and Tax

National Insurance

In the UK everyone who works and earns money above a certain amount must pay national insurance. These contributions are taken from your wages before being paid to you. The amount you can earn before paying National Insurance changes every year. Check the link above for the current rate.

How to apply for a National Insurance Number (NINO)

It is your responsibility, not your employer's, to apply for a National Insurance Number. Apply for this straight away as you often need to be able to write your National Insurance Number on job application forms.

  • Telephone the National Insurance Application line on: 0345 600 0643 or Textphone: 0345 600 0644
  • The NI General Helpline is:  0300 200 3500  or Textphone:  0300 200 3519

You will be asked to provide certain information about your passport and visa, address, university and course of study. You will then be sent an application form via the post to complete and send back. If you give the required information your National Insurance Number (NINO) will be mailed to you. Keep the number very safe when you get it.

Some students may be asked to attend an interview in person to apply for their NINO. If this is the case you will go to: Jobcentre Plus, Cavendish Court, 9 Bank Street, Sheffield, S1 2DR. You will be sent a letter containing the appointment details which will also ask you to take the following documents with you:

  • your passport with visa information
  • police registration document (if you have one)
  • proof of your Sheffield address -  a letter from Sheffield Hallam, plus other official letters, perhaps from your bank. Your accommodation contract would also be useful

If you have any other documents which can prove your identity, take them with you as well.

Income Tax

International students are subject to the same tax regulations as UK citizens. Everyone in the UK who receives an income (money earned) over a certain amount during the year pays Income Tax to the government department known as HM Revenue and Customs. Usually, the more you earn, the more you pay.

Students who work during term-time as well as vacation time will have tax deducted from their wages. However, if you earn less than the personal allowance during the tax year (the tax year starts on 6 April and ends the following 5 April) you will be able to claim back any tax you might have paid. Further details are available at Gov.UK.

When you stop working, your employer should give you a P45 which tells you how much you have earned, along with the total amount of National Insurance (NI) and tax payments taken during the current tax year. The P45 should be given to any new employer that you start working for.

For full and detailed information about Tax and National Insurance Numbers, visit the HM Revenue and Customs website.

Last modified: 
Monday, September 28, 2015 - 12:52