About The Salary Calculator

Redesign of The Salary Calculator

The Salary Calculator has been around since 2005 and although many new options have been added since then, the site has never had a complete redesign – until now. Working with designer Dan Gallagher-Cowley, the site has been given a refresh and a much more modern look.

All the same options are there for you to personalise your tax calculations, but laid out in a way which we hope will be easier to use and less daunting for visitors who are unfamiliar with all the terminology. One big change is that you enter all of your details first, and then see the results on the next page (instead of the results being side-by-side with the options) – once you get the results, you can scroll down to modify the options and re-calculate if you wish. I know a lot of people liked the side-by-side layout, but unfortunately I was running out of space for options and this new design gives much more space to add new features. For example, it has now been possible to add auto-enrolment pensions.

The new design also works on mobile devices, so I have removed the dedicated mobile version of the site (which only had a couple of pages, and was missing some options) – mobile users can now use every page of the site and will get new features as soon as they are available on the main site.

I’m going to keep experimenting with the design and continue to make changes to try to optimise the experience of users on the site. I know there will be some who preferred the old version of the site but I hope most of you will find the new site easier to use! Try out the new-look Salary Calculator.

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Saturday, April 7th, 2018 About The Salary Calculator 6 Comments

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Auto-enrolment pensions

I’ve been dragging my feet on this one (sorry), but I have finally added an option to the Salary Calculator for auto-enrolment pensions, which employers are obliged to offer to eligible employees if there is not already an employer pension scheme. These pensions involve a percentage being deducted from your pay, but only on what you earn over a certain threshold (£6,032 for the tax year from April 2018). There is also an upper threshold, above which deductions are not taken – £46,350 for the April 2018 tax year.

To use the new option, enter your details in to The Salary Calculator. On the Pension tab, select the “Auto-enrolment” option and enter the percentage of your salary that you will be contributing. Click “Go!” to see the results.

Auto-enrolment pensions also require your employer to contribute to your pension, but I have not yet added this to The Salary Calculator – so enter only the percentage that you will be contributing (your employer’s contribution does not affect your take-home pay).

From 6th April 2018 the minimum amount employees are required to pay into their auto-enrolment pension increases from 1% of their pay to 3% (and from April 2019 it increases further to 5%). This can make quite a difference to your take-home pay – try it out on the Salary Calculator and see what a difference it makes!

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April 2018 tax rates

The Salary Calculator has been updated, and the new tax information which takes effect from 6th April 2018 has been applied. The personal allowance has been increased from £11,500 to £11,850, meaning you can earn an extra £350 tax-free per year. The thresholds between tax bands have also been increased.

In Scotland, new tax bands have been introduced, making income tax calculations quite different from in the rest of the UK. There are 5 tax rates, 19%, 20%, 21%, 41% and 46%, compared to just three in the rest of the UK (20%, 40% and 45%). The result of this difference is that lower earners North of the border can save as much as £20 per year compared to the rest of the UK, but with higher earners potentially paying quite a bit more in Scotland than they would if they were based elsewhere in the UK. The point at which Scottish earners go from paying less to paying more tax is a salary of about £26,000.

You can try out the April 2018 tax rates for yourself by choosing “2018 / 19” in the Tax Year drop-down on The Salary Calculator. You can also see a side-by-side comparison of 2017 and 2018 with the 2017 and 2018 income tax comparison page.

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New – Election Calculator 2017

With a General Election on the way, The Salary Calculator’s Election Calculator has been updated with the latest campaign proposals from the main parties. This allows you to see an estimate of how the different parties’ policies might affect you if they come to power. Right now, only the 3 parties Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats have produced their manifestos with details of their taxation plans. When other parties such as The Green Party and UKIP reveal their plans, the calculator will be updated.

As explained on the Election Calculator itself, this is a simplified version of The Salary Calculator, and some estimates and assumptions have had to be made. Also, of course, income tax and National Insurance are only some of the ways that governments can raise revenue, and other policy proposals may affect your financial situation. With that in mind, check out the 2017 Election Calculator.

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Spring Budget 2017

Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond will deliver his Spring Budget. It is not expected that there will be any big surprises – no big changes in policy. However, he will be laying the groundwork for a further budget in the Autumn, which is likely to include more significant changes. This is the last Spring Budget, as future budget announcements will take place in the Autumn.

Changes to your take home pay from April 2017 have already been announced and you can compare 2016 and 2017 tax years on The Salary Calculator tax year comparison. The personal allowance (the amount you can earn tax-free) has been increased by £500 to £11,500 and the threshold for higher rate tax has increased by a further £1,500.

Perhaps the biggest change this year is the introduction of different income tax in Scotland – the Scottish Parliament’s budget controls the thresholds and rates for those who live North of the border, and from April 2017 different thresholds apply. The threshold for higher rate tax (£43,000 in the default case) is not increasing in Scotland, whereas in the rest of the UK it will be £45,000. This means that those earning over this threshold will pay more tax if they live in Scotland than if they live elsewhere. You can see this difference in The Salary Calculator if you enter a Scottish tax code or tick the box for Scottish residents (remember to choose the 2017/18 tax year in the drop down box!).

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