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Tax / National Insurance / wages

Once you start work you will have some fixed amounts of money taken from your pay: 

  • National Insurance (NI)
  • Income Tax
  • Union payment (if you are a member)
  • Pension 

Most people have to pay these but the amount will depend on a person's situation.

National Insurance

Everybody in work pays National Insurance (NI). The amount you pay is based on what you earn, the more you earn the more you pay. Your employer takes it from your wages.

You should receive your NI number shortly before your 16th birthday. You are sent a card showing your NI number. Keep this in a safe place. You will often need to know this number. If you lose your card contact the NI Helpline 0300 200 3502. 


Most people have to pay tax on the money they earn. The amount you pay depends on how much you earn. The money you pay in tax goes towards government spending on things like education, health and social security.

You will receive a tax code from the Inland Revenue, which shows how much tax you will pay. If you do not have a tax code or are starting your first job you will need to fill in a P46. Your employer will send this off to the Inland Revenue. You will then receive your tax code.

Your tax is taken off by your employer who records the amount on your pay statement.  

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