Student Loan

General Election Salary Calculator

As you may have noticed, there’s a General Election next month and the parties are all out campaigning. Since a major campaign point this time is personal taxation, I thought it would be interesting to compare how the main parties’ policies would affect take-home pay. You can try out the Election Salary Calculator here. This is a simplified version of the normal Salary Calculator, but if you enter your salary and a few other optional extras, it will estimate the differences in deductions for the 5 main national parties.

This is just an estimate, and not all of the details are available yet – I will update the calculator with more information as the parties provide it. I hope you find it interesting! Details of the changes are described below the results table. The BBC has a very good article explaining the parties’ positions on taxation and other policy areas.

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None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

April 2015 tax rates applied

From 6th April 2015, new tax thresholds and personal allowances will apply, and The Salary Calculator has been updated with these new values.

Although the default results are still for the current tax year, when you enter your details into the take home pay calculator, you will see a summary line at the bottom of the results showing how things will change from 6th April. Click on this line and you can see a side-by-side comparison of the 2014/15 and 2015/16 tax years, and a breakdown of how it will affect your take home pay. You can also choose 2015/16 in the tax year drop-down in the normal take home calculator.

The main change this year is an increase in the default personal allowance from £10,000 to £10,600 – which means you can earn an extra £600 without paying any income tax. The default tax code will change from 1000L to 1060L (if your tax code is different, it will probably change for next year to reflect the larger personal allowance). The Student Loan repayment threshold has also increased from £16,910 to £17,335, potentially saving those who are repaying their loans £38.25 per month (although this will also mean it takes longer to repay your loan).

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A new beginning for 2015

As 2015 opens, it seems everyone I know is starting a new job! A common theme of conversations I’ve had is either promotions or moving jobs to a new company and new horizons. January is a popular time for people to make a fresh start, and what better way to do that than with a new job?

If you’re considering a move then The Salary Calculator is here to help – find out how much that new salary would bring home for you with the take home pay calculator, or even compare it side-by-side with your current salary with the salary comparison calculator. Maybe you’re thinking of improving your home life with a move to part-time work? The pro-rata salary calculator can help you see what would happen to your take-home if you reduced your hours in your current job.

Maybe 2015 for you is the year you go to university, or one in which you consider it. If this applies to you then I highly recommend Money Saving Expert’s page about the cost of university, and what those fees and loans mean – don’t make a decision about the cost of studying until you’ve read this guide, or at least watched the short video summary which appears just above point number 5.

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Understanding student loans

I discovered an excellent article today by Martin Lewis, laying out the facts behind student loans – how they work and how they are repaid. There are a number of common misconceptions about student loans, and this article sets out all the information you would need to understand if you were considering going to university (or sending one of your children). Topics covered include:

  • If you take a low paying job after graduation, you’ll only repay a small amount of the loan (or none of it!)
  • Monthly repayments under the new loan system are lower than under the previous system
  • Your monthly repayments are the same, no matter how high your tuition fees are
  • You only start repaying once you leave university and start earning
  • You will still be able to get a mortgage

To learn more about all of these and more, check out Student Loans Mythbusting.

You can see how much your student loan will cost each month, and how long it will take to repay, by using the tool on our sister site Loan Tutor.

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 Student Loan No Comments

Limited Company Tax Calculator added!

Over on our sister site Employed and Self Employed, we now have a Limited Company Tax Calculator. If you are self employed through a limited company (as many people, like IT contractors, can be), then your tax is worked out differently from if you are just plain-old self employed. The limited company pays you a salary, which is typically quite small, and the rest of the company’s profits are paid to you in dividends (after the company has paid corporation tax), which are taxed at different rates from other income. The following graph shows you a comparison of how much income you get to take home as self employed or with a limited company (click on the image for a larger version).

Limited Company vs Self Employed comparison

Click the image for a larger, interactive version

As you can see, in this example (with typical values entered), the limited company approach allows you to take home more of your income. However, this does come at a cost – more paperwork is required for limited companies, including registering with Companies House and having your books prepared by an accountant. Accountant’s fees might eat up a significant amount of the difference in take-home, so it might not be worth switching from one to another. If you’re interested in being self employed as a limited company, speak to an accountant to find out if it is right for you.

To start performing tax calculations, check out the limited company tax calculator over at Employed and Self Employed.

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