April, 2012

How To Get A National Insurance Number

If you want to work or claim benefits in the UK then you will need to have a National Insurance number (NINO).

Most people receive their National Insurance number automatically just before their 16th birthday.  However, if you don’t have a National Insurance number, you may need to get one.  Our guide explains what your National Insurance number is, when you should receive one automatically and how to get a National Insurance number if you don’t have one.

What is a National Insurance number?

Your National Insurance number is a number that is unique to you.  It is used to keep track of your benefits and any national insurance contributions that you pay. The number is made up of two letters, six numbers and one letter – for example PF832459B.

If you start a job or you claim a benefit or tax credits, you’ll need to supply your National Insurance number. If you think you have a National Insurance number, but you are not sure what it is, you may find it on your payslip, benefits letter or your P60 form.

You can ask for help in finding your number from your nearest benefits office or HM Revenue and Customs (National Insurance Contributions Office). You can also ring the National Insurance Registrations Helpline on 0845 915 7006.

Getting a National Insurance Number automatically

If you’re under 16, living in the UK and your parent gets Child Benefit for you, you will automatically be registered for National Insurance.  You’ll get your National Insurance number through the post just before your 16th birthday. If you don’t get your number automatically, you can contact the National Insurance Registrations Helpline on 0845 915 7006 for advice.

While you don’t have a legal right to a National Insurance number, you are legally obliged to apply for one if you start work, or if you (or your partner) claim benefit.

How to get a National Insurance Number if you don’t have one

If you do not have a National Insurance number and you need one, you should telephone the National Employment NINO application number on 0845 600 0643 to arrange an interview at a local office.

The meeting will look to establish your identity and you will need to prove who you are. You can do this by taking along original copies of your birth certificate, driving licence or national identity card and letters from the Home Office.

At the meeting, you will also be expected to provide evidence to prove you have a right to work in the UK. If you don’t have the right to work in the UK, you won’t be entitled to a National Insurance number.

What if you have lost your National Insurance number?

If you can’t find your National Insurance number, you should contact HM Revenue and Customs.  Remember that you may find it on your payslip, tax forms or on your benefits or tax credits award letter.

You may also have a National Insurance Card with your number, but as from 2010, replacement National Insurance cards will no longer be issued.

The 2012 Tax Changes Come Into Force

It’s the start of a new tax year in the UK.  This means that there are various important changes to income taxes which are almost certain to affect you.  Whether you’re employed, self employed or a pensioner, the tax changes in 2012 will probably affect what tax you pay.  But what are the changes?

Keep reading to learn more about the tax changes that will affect you in 2012.

How much can you earn before paying tax in 2012?

Your Personal Allowance is the amount of money that you’re allowed to earn before you start to pay tax.  You may also be eligible for additional allowances such as a Married Couples Allowance or Blind Person’s Allowance.  From 6 April 2012, the tax-free allowances that most people in the UK benefit from are changing.

The changes can be summarised as:

  • Personal Allowance for people up to age 65 – In 2012 this rises to £8,105 (from £7,475).  This means you can earn up to £8,105 before you start to pay tax in 2012/13
  • Personal Allowance for people aged 65 -74 – In 2012 this rises to £10,500 (from £9,940).  This means you can earn up to £10,500 before you start to pay tax in 2012/13
  • Personal Allowance for people aged 75 and over – In 2012 this rises to £10,660 (from £10,090).  This means you can earn up to £10,660 before you start to pay tax in 2012/13
  • Married Couple’s Allowance – In 2012 this rises to £7,405 (from £7,295)
  • Blind Person’s Allowance – In 20120 this rises to £2,100 (from £1,980)

These changes to allowances are likely to affect your tax code for the tax year 2012/13 (the tax year which runs from 6 April 2012 to 5 April 2013).  The standard tax code for someone under the age of 65 with a full Personal Allowance and no other allowances/deductions will be 810L (it was 747L in tax year 2011/12).

Change to the rate at which you start paying the higher rate of tax

From 6 April 2012 there is also a change to the point at which you start paying the higher rate of tax (40%).

The point at which you will pay the higher rate of Income Tax has decreased by £630 from £35,000 to £34,370 in 2012/13.  This is to balance the £630 increase in the personal allowance for people aged under 65.  This means that you’ll pay 40% tax on any taxable income you earn over £34,370.

Tax Credits changes 2012

As well as changes to tax allowances and the rate at which you start to pay higher rate income tax, there are also significant changes to tax credits in 2012.

The two main changes to tax credits are:

  • a reduction in the income limit for child tax credit, from about £40,000 to about £26,000 for a family with one child
  • an increase in the number of hours couples with children have to work to be eligible for working tax credit.  You’ll now have to work 24 hours per week rather than 16 hours