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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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.

Budget 2016

Tomorrow, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver his annual budget to the Houses of Parliament. We have already heard about some possible announcements (such as the introduction of a scheme to help people increase their savings), and we have been told that there will be no changes to pension tax relief (which looked likely, for a while).

From 6th April, the new tax year means changes to tax-free personal allowances, tax thresholds and the like. The Salary Calculator has been updated with the latest values so you can see what your payslip will look like from April onwards. The personal allowance has been increased to £11,000 per year, which will reduce the tax due for most people. There are changes to National Insurance this year, too – since it is no longer possible for a pension to be “contracted-out” (earning a reduction in NI contributions), those of you who had one of these pensions will be paying the full NI contributions from 6th April.

If you would like to see how these changes will affect you, head over to The Salary Calculator to see what difference it will make to your payslip!

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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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Bonus pay periods

Prompted by a comment from Rob on the original blog post, back from when support for bonus payments was added to The Salary Calculator (original post here), The Salary Calculator has been updated so that you can choose your normal pay period when you enter a bonus. Previously, the calculator assumed that you were paid on a monthly basis, and displayed a normal monthly payslip alongside a payslip including the bonus. Now, you can choose whether you are paid monthly, 4-weekly, 2-weekly or weekly and see a side-by-side comparison of a normal payslip with one including your bonus.

It’s important to note that your employer may not perform their bonus calculations in the same way – sometimes (particularly near the start of the tax year) you may have more tax and NI deducted than predicted by the calculator. Normally these over-deductions are corrected in subsequent payslips.

Head this way for the Salary Calculator with bonus payments!

Salary Sacrifice and charitable giving

A new update to The Salary Calculator allows you to enter deductions which were previously not available. Among the usual options is one for Salary Sacrifice, if you have contractually agreed to reduce your salary by a certain amount in exchange for receiving some other benefit. There are also new options for pre-tax deductions such as Gift Aid and Give As You Earn and after-tax deductions which are just taken out of your payslip each month.

Salary Sacrifice is often used for pension contributions, but The Salary Calculator already has an option for Salary Sacrifice pensions under the “Pension” tab where you can enter a percentage of your salary to be deducted. If you prefer to enter the monthly (or annual) £ amount that you are sacrificing, you can leave the pension field blank and enter the £ amount in the “Salary Sacrifice” tab. Alternatively, you might be making a salary sacrifice for benefits other than a pension (or in addition to a pension) – in which case just enter the amount you’ve sacrificed into the new field.

The “Other Deductions” tab has two new fields on it. One is for pre-tax deductions, like Gift Aid or other charitable contributions like Give As You Earn. The second is for after-tax deductions – i.e. an amount deducted from your take-home pay each month with no impact on your tax or National Insurance.

Head over the The Salary Calculator to check out these new options. I hope you find these new options useful – if you have any feedback or thoughts (or suggestions for other things to be added), please let me know!

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