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Maximum NI Contributions

Newsletter issue - September 2010.

Before the General Election NI was referred to as a 'tax on jobs', and essentially it is a tax, as once you have sufficient NI contributions to qualify for state benefits any extra payments will not entitle you to further benefits.

If you have paid in excess of the maximum NI contributions required for the tax year you can reclaim the excess amount. The PAYE system will normally ensure that you will not pay more than the annual maximum on your regular employment. However, if you have two or more concurrent employments in the tax year, or you are employed and self-employed at the same time, you may pay more NI in the year than the annual maximum.

Each taxpayer has their own annual maximum figure based on their individual earnings. The annual maximum NI for employees will be at least £4,279 and for taxpayers who are both employed and self employed the annual maximum is at least £3,180. However, you need to add to those figures the amount of NI payable at the additional rate (currently 1%), which cannot be reclaimed.

If you believe you have paid more NI than your personal annual maximum you can reclaim the excess by writing to the NI Office in Newcastle upon Tyne. You don't have to calculate the amount of NI repayment due, as the NI Office will do this for you. But you must provide evidence of your earnings during the tax year, such as P60 forms or accounts. We can help you with all of this.

There is no time limit for reclaiming overpaid NI contributions, so you can submit claims for all past years where a repayment is due.

If you are likely to overpay NI for the current tax year you can apply to defer the NI charges on one of your jobs. Do this by completing form CA 72A for employees, or form CA 72B if you are also self-employed. It is not too late to submit either application.