What is National Insurance?
National Insurance is a system of taxes paid by employees and employers in the United Kingdom to finance various social security benefits and entitlements.
These include the UK state pension, the contributory employment and support allowance, and the maternity allowance. National Insurance contributions are typically deducted from an employee’s earnings.
You must make separate arrangements to pay your National Insurance contributions if you are self-employed people part-employed.
Who has to Pay National Insurance?
If you are an employee earning over a certain amount per week, you must pay National Insurance contributions. If you earn over £184 per week in 2023, you must pay National Insurance.
You must pay National Insurance contributions if you are self-employed and earn more than £6,515 per year.
It is essential to note that you must begin paying National Insurance contributions as soon as you begin working and continue doing so until you reach the age of eligibility for the state pension.
What Happens If I Don’t Pay National Insurance Self-Employed?
If you are self-employed and do not pay National Insurance (NI) contributions, there are several potential consequences:
1. State Pension: Your National Insurance record determines if you are eligible for the State Pension. To get the full UK State Pension, you need to have worked a certain number of years. If you don’t pay National Insurance (NI) contributions, you might not get enough qualified years, which could lower your State Pension amountor keep you from getting it at all.
2. Benefits: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, and Maternity Allowance are just some of the benefits that depend on a certain National Insurance record. If you don’t pay your NI contributions, you might not be able to get these perks.
3. Penalties: If you are supposed to pay National Insurance but don’t, you could get fines, interest, or both. This can make the amount you owe go up by a lot.
4. Debt Collection: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can take steps to collect the debt, such as taking money straight from your bank or building society account or selling things you own.
5. Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance: If you work for yourself, you might have to pay both Class 2 and Class 4 NI. The payments you make to Class 2 are especially important because they count towards your State Pension and other benefits.
6. Volunteer Contributions: If you find gaps in your NI record, you can make volunteer contributions to fill them, but there are time limits and other conditions to think about.
What Happens If I Don’t Earn Enough To Pay National Insurance?
In the UK, you don’t have to pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs) if you don’t make more than the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL). If you earn between the LEL and the Primary Threshold, you won’t pay NICs, but you’ll still get National Insurance points, which count towards your State Pension and some other benefits.
I Don’t Earn Enough To pay National Insurance, Will I Get A Pension?
If you make less than the LEL, you won’t get these points on their own. It’s important to know this, because if you don’t get enough National Insurance points or contributions, it could affect your future eligibility for the State Pension and other benefits. If there are gaps in your National Insurance record that worry you, you can make voluntary payments.