HMRC

Raising the personal allowance

The personal allowance is the amount of money you are allowed to earn each year before you start paying income tax. As mentioned in a recent BBC article, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats made an election pledge to raise the personal allowance to £10,000 (at the time of the election, the personal allowance was £6,475). As part of the coalition government the Conservatives and the Lib Dems agreed to make this increase before 2015, and last year the threshold was increased by £1,000 to £7,475 – although, as I reported at the time, the threshold for 40% tax was lowered at the same time so that those earning more would start paying 40% tax sooner.

This April, the standard allowance for the under-65s is set to increase again, this time to £8,105. This is less of an increase than last year (a change only of £630) but it will still make a significant difference to those on lower incomes. Nick Clegg is pushing for the threshold to be raised quicker than that, but the Conservatives are resisting it for now – the main reason for this being that the lost tax would have to be paid for elsewhere. This could mean either increasing other taxes or making further cuts.

The personal allowance is affected by your tax code, which means you may not receive the standard tax-free amount. More information about tax codes in this blog post.

The Salary Calculator will be updated in early Spring with the tax thresholds and rates for April 2012.

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Monday, January 30th, 2012 Income Tax, Pay As You Earn No Comments

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 2011 rates applied

The April 2011 tax and National Insurance rates have been applied to The Salary Calculator.

In comparison to last year, when rates for most of us were unchanged, there are a number of differences which will mean that your payslip will be different next month.

The standard personal allowance (the amount you can earn tax-free) is increasing by a thousand pounds to £7,475, but this is mitigated in some way for higher earners by the threshold for 40% tax being lowered to £35,000. Similarly, NI rates increased by one penny in the pound (to 12% and 2%) but the threshold for paying NI increased so lower earners may not be too badly affected.

To see how you’re affected, try out The Salary Calculator with your salary. The details of the figures used by The Salary Calculator are available on the About page.

Useful links:

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Tax codes added to The Salary Calculator

After a great many requests from users of the site, I’ve finally added support for tax codes to The Salary Calculator. If you know what your tax code is, you can now use it on the take home pay calculator, hourly wage calculator and the required salary calculator to get a more accurate indication of your take home pay.

Tax codes exist because in some circumstances HMRC may adjust your personal allowance, often because of benefits like a company car or private healthcare. They do this by providing your employer with a tax code which indicates what your personal allowance should be.

The usual effect of such an adjustment would be to lower your personal allowance, meaning that you pay tax on more of your income. If you receive benefits such as private healthcare or a company car through your employer, you pay more tax on your salary so that the value of these benefits is also taxed.

Tax codes usually indicate the personal allowance by including a number which should be multiplied by 10 and have £5 added to it to make the personal allowance – e.g. the standard code 647L indicates a personal allowance of £6,475.

  • L, P, Y and T codes indicate the personal allowance to be assigned as described above
  • K codes indicate the amount by which the taxable income should be increased, if you owe tax on other earnings which should have been taxed
  • A BR code indicates you pay 20% basic rate tax on all income
  • A D0 code indicates you pay 40% tax on all income
  • An NT code indicates you pay no tax

In most cases your tax code will stay the same if you change jobs, so now you can use The Salary Calculator to get a more accurate indication of what a pay rise or a new job would mean to you each month!

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Saturday, January 8th, 2011 About The Salary Calculator, Income Tax No Comments

Emergency Budget Update

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer gave the coalition government’s first Budget today, within 50 days of the election as promised. There were a great many changes, most of which will take place from April 2011, so I have added a new row to The Salary Calculator to give an indication of what the impact might be.

Unfortunately, a lot of the figures won’t be confirmed until towards the end of this year, so I have had to make some estimates based on what was described in the Emergency Budget report. For those who want to know, details of the figures I’ve used are below. For those who don’t – you can go straight to the “April 2011″ row of the Salary Calculator for April 2011 values.

Another change announced in the Budget was an increase in standard VAT rate from 17.5% to 20% effective from 4th January 2011. The VAT Calculator has also been updated so you can see what a difference this will make to purchases.

The calculations for the April 2011 values in The Salary Calculator are based on the following assumptions. Under 65 personal allowance increased to £7,475, over 65 allowance increased to £9,940, over 75 allowance increased to £10,090. Threshold of 40% tax lowered to £35,000 from £37,400. National Insurance rates increase from 11% to 12% for basic and 1% to 2% for additional, as set out by the previous government’s budget. National Insurance basic rate threshold increased to £7,475, additional rate lowered to £42,875. All other values unchanged.

Edit (5th January 2011): The values above have been updated with the latest information from the Treasury and the April 2011 calculations have been updated in line with these. The Salary Calculator will be updated again with final values in early Spring 2011, following the budget update.

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Coalition pledges to affect tax

So we’ve got a new, coalition government and they have published the details of the agreements which were reached between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. As you can see in the linked article, campaign pledges from both parties were included in the agreement, reflecting the compromises necessary.

They have promised that a new budget will be announced within 50 days, which will include changes to PAYE taking effect from April 2011. These changes will include increasing the income tax personal allowance to reduce taxes for low and middle earners (although not immediately the full increase to £10,000 the Lib Dems wanted), but the employee National Insurance threshold changes the Conservatives put in their manifesto will not be included. However Labour’s planned increase in employer National Insurance will not go ahead, pleasing Conservative supporters.

Full details will not be available until the promised emergency budget, but I promise to make available as soon as possible any relevant changes to The Salary Calculator!

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