National Insurance Numbers & Tax Matters





National Insurance Numbers

A National Insurance (NI) number is your personal number which you keep all your life. It is made up of letters and numbers like this: AB 12 34 56 C. Your number will be different to this example.

Useful Links

National Insurance:




All UK citizens are allocated a number at age 16 and for everyone else the following procedure should be followed:

How to apply for a NI Number

You should apply for a NI number once you start looking for work and especially if you find a job.

You will need to apply to the National Insurance Number Allocation Service.
Their telephone number is 0800 141 2075 and the lines are open 08:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday. They are normally less busy before 09:00.

When calling this number it is important that you state you are actively looking for a job (or have a job) otherwise they will not process your application.

A useful web site is

Starting work without a National Insurance number

Your employer can allow you to start work before you receive your NI number but it is important you give your number to your employer once it is received.

Employers will need to see your passport and, if appropriate, your visa, to confirm you are entitled to work in the UK.

National Insurance Contributions

If you earn £162 or more a week you will have to pay National Insurance contributions. This is currently 12% of whatever you earn over £162 (2% if you earn over £892) and your employer will take it out of your wages at the same time as your income tax. National Insurance Contributions are not refundable in the same way as you may get a refund of tax if your earnings are not sufficient over a tax year.

Tax Matters

A useful web site explaining income tax matters is:

Anyone who works in the UK will have to pay tax if they earn over their personal allowance of £11,850 each year.

Tax Forms - Everyone in the UK must complete a tax form on the commencement of a new job. The form is used by your employer to deduct the right amount of tax from your pay.

P46 - Complete one if you do NOT have a P45.

P45 - ALL employees should receive a P45 at the end of each job. This form lists earnings over the period of employment, NI and tax details. This form is VERY important; you must pass it on to each new employer. At the end of each contract an updated P45 will be sent to you.

Over taxed and other tax queries?

If you feel you have paid too much tax and you want to claim it back, or you have any other tax query, you will need to speak to someone at the Inland Revenue and their Helpline contact number is 0845 3000 627. You will need to quote your National Insurance number when calling them.

There is also a tax enquiry centre in Bristol and they are open Monday – Friday 08:30 to 17:00. You can make an appointment by calling 0845 3000 627. You cannot walk in without an appointment. The address is Inland Revenue, Norfolk House, Temple Street, Bristol BS1 6HS

The official Inland Revenue web site outlines the current tax rates and allowances. See

Contacts at The Students' Union

Please remember if you have any concerns you can call the Advice Centre, or email