personal allowance

2016 Tax rates available!

The Salary Calculator has been updated with the latest tax rates, which take effect from 6th April 2016 – so you can now see how the changes will affect you. Just head over to The Salary Calculator – 2016 take home pay calculator, enter your details and remember to choose the “2016/17” tax year in the drop-down box.

The tax-free personal allowance has been increased by £400, which will reduce the amount of tax most people pay. However, from April 2016 those who have been paying into a pension scheme which is “contracted out” of the additional state pension will find that their National Insurance contributions go up. This is because from April it will no longer be possible to contract out of the pension, so the National Insurance reduction that this gave you no longer applies.

You can try out the 2015 and 2016 take home comparison calculator and see side-by-side how your payslip is likely to change in the new tax year.

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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.

New – see the effects of benefits in kind

The Salary Calculator has been updated with new options, to help those who receive taxable benefits, or “benefits in kind”, from their employer. As well as paying you your salary, your employer might offer other benefits, such as a company car or private healthcare. They pay for these benefits directly, but you have to pay tax on the value of the benefit (generally, you do not pay National Insurance on these benefits). Sometimes this extra tax is collected through your tax code – it lowers your tax-free personal allowance so that you pay the extra tax automatically. However, you may not know what your tax code will be with this benefit, or your employer might deduct the extra tax directly.

If this is the case, you can now enter the value of the benefit into the “Taxable Benefit” tab on the calculator, choose whether this amount is weekly, monthly or yearly, and then run the calculations to see how it affects your take-home pay. Since the amount of tax you pay will go up when you receive one of these benefits, your take-home pay will go down – but of course you’ll be receiving the benefit that you’ve paid tax on. This information will help you see how much the benefit will actually cost you each month.

To get started, head over to The Salary Calculator.

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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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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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2014 Budget

Later today, the Chancellor will deliver his 2014 Budget to parliament, setting out his plans for the next few years. The Budget is the Chancellor’s opportunity to explain his policies and how they will affect the economy as a whole, and also what differences will be felt by ordinary members of the public.

He is likely to make much of the fact that the tax-free personal allowance (how much you can earn without paying income tax) has increased to £10,000 from April 2014, a coalition pledge delivered 1 year early. There is also talk that he might announce plans to raise the threshold for 40% tax (the amount at which you start paying income tax at 40% rather than 20%) in future years. This would probably lower the tax paid by those in middle management positions, say, and those in more senior roles.

The income tax and National Insurance rates which will take effect from 6th April 2014 have already been applied to The Salary Calculator, so you can easily see how your take home pay will be affected by the new tax year. You can also view a side-by-side comparison of 2013 and 2014 so you can see where the differences come from.

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