NI and tax and I'm mad!



ok. Are student supposed to pay NI?

The thing is I am getting some overtime for work done over 7 months. Or lets say a one off project. whatever.

And then the money comes thru my uni into my account and the school HR cuts chunks out of it for NI.

My sup says I can and should legitimtately claim it back, and the HR folk tell me if the income is above a certain amout in a month I must pay the thing.

Any advice? I really want to get it back if I can....

then they had been cutting 40 quid each month for some SAUL thing for pension

i said what the hell? i am a student whose question right now is survival not pension, and then they made me sign an opt out form to get the money back.

Any ideas about the NI? I have overtime coming in and dont want to lose it again!


Hey Bug

National Insurance is generally obligatory when you earn over a certain level - but things get complex if you don't work all year round. Basically, if you earn over £110 a week then you pay 11% - it is sometimes reduced if you pay into a pension scheme, so maybe if you carry on paying the pension (which I always thought was voluntary for academics), you could be on a better deal. HR should have asked you to opt in, not out of the pension, but I think you are stuck with NI.

However, if you only plan to work 7 months; not the whole 12, then you will be paying based on your current income. You can claim back a repayment when you finish your current job and tell them that you are no longer working. Saying that, its a drawn out process and unless its a significant amount, it may not be worth the time and effort! It depends on how much you are currently paying.

Hope this helps!

Avatar for XJR

The only tax which students are exempt from is council tax, plus studentships and scholarships don't attract income tax or NI. Students do pay income tax and NI on all other earnings exactly the same as everyone else.

If someone earns over the tax free allowance of around £6,400 (approx £125 a week) they will start to pay tax and NI. Being a student (or not) is irrelevant.

The only reason most students don't pay tax is becasue very few earn over £6400 a year! If you have earned less than this someone has made a mistake and you should claim it back, if you have earned over this amount you are probably paying the correct amount of tax.


======= Date Modified 01 Oct 2009 21:28:33 =======
I think HR is right and your sup is wrong here. NICs are payable by everyone, but only once you earn over a certain amount per week - as far as I know they are not refundable. But you can definitely get your money back for any occupational pension scheme contributions (HR really should have asked you about that). You may want to check out whether you're eligible for tax credits. Also if you didn't earn 6500 (ish) in the last tax year, you might be able to get a tax rebate.

That said, you would be wise to check out your tax/NIC liability with HMRC (they have phonelines on their website). HR often get tax codes wrong.


Hmm thansk! my sup's point is though, that I pay tax 25% only if my income is aboove that 6.5k£ in a tax yr, not on a certain month (after dividing the yr by months)

So her point is, ask HR-pay team to calculate my earnings over the yr and then reclaim any overpaid tax based on the yr, not a specific month.

She sent me the HM tax and revenues link to confirm and it looks right,

I wrote to HR with the query, let's see...


Yes, that's pretty much right. You are currently paying based on the assumption that your level of income will continue all year round. This is not true, so you are overpaying slightly.

However - its your job to claim it back, not HR's. I know it doesn't seem like it, but they have done their job correctly.:$


======= Date Modified 02 Oct 2009 11:02:04 =======
Hmm, so if HR's job is to deduct tax at source, they do not do it once a year or at the end of a tax yr for a person who is earning below the taxable range?

I was surprised that they see me getting a salary which cannot be taxed for it's just below the range, and the moment, in let us say one month out of seven I get a lumpsum overtime they tax it.. then again normalcy continues....

Ok, I didn't expect this but I expect they are right to do it this way, although this way doesnt in any way show (apparently) taxable income happening more than 1 or 2 months a yr.


Ok, when a new member of staff starts, the HR dept asks the local tax office for a tax code. Some tax codes are for people paid weekly, others monthly. Only if you are self-employed as a contractor can you have a tax code for a project. The assumption is if you have an employer, you get a regular salary.

The HR dept will have been told to apply a tax code to your account that indicates you are paid monthly. If you get paid for 7 months of work in one lump sum, you will still be paying on a monthly or weekly tax code (depending how the Uni normally pays staff). In this case you can claim back - but only when you have evidence of how much you have overpaid (ie full payslips for the period you have overpaid.


Just in addition - if you have a monthly tax code - your tax is based on monthly earning (whether you break the threshold *that* month. It is not based on your annual earnings...


I agree with what others said, they work it out as if you are getting that money every month, then you claim it back.

Also wanted to mention though there is an exception, which I don't think applies in your case, but it might and it might in the future...
If you are only working in the holidays, there is a special form to fill in for students, then you don't pay any tax and NI. This is on the basis that the assumption is then that you won't hit the threshold as you are only working in the holidays.


Hi Alice thanks..

no i work all year which gets in just below the threshold. Then there are lumps of overtime or one off projects. These deifnitely take me beyond threshold but not to pay as much IT as much as is happening when things are chopped off a month. i have worked it out and there should be some refund.

let's see..