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Frequently Asked Questions - Taxation

The National Insurance number is an unique and individual number through which the government identifies your national insurance and tax contributions. You need a NI number in order to apply for benefits and to prove your eligibility to certain services such as the Health Service.

Most workers in the UK pay national insurance. National Insurance (NI) contributions are what you pay towards a UK State pension and State benefits to help you if you lose your job or if you are too ill to work.

You can take up employment without a NI number as long as you apply for a number once you start work. A person can work in the UK without a NI number for 6 months, but it is advisable to apply for one as soon as possible as this may affect your eligibility when applying for tax credits and other benefits.

Emergency Tax is when you start work, your employer may deduct emergency tax from your pay.

This links to the "Emergency Tax - Your questions answered" leaflet. It answers most questions about emergency tax, such as:

Pensions are a form of saving for when you retire. When you reach a certain age or retire, a pension pays you a regular income for the rest of your life. To access a guide to the State Pension if you are a person who has come to work in the UK, are close to retirement age and want to find out how many years you must work in the UK before you can receive a pension, contact the Pension Service as each case is different.

The Inland Revenue tries to ensure that everyone gets what they are entitled to, pays what they owe and understands why, so that everyone contributes to the UK’s needs.

People in employment in the UK have to pay income tax, which their employee takes off their wages. The Inland Revenue tries to ensure that the correct amount of income tax and National Insurance contribution are taken from wages.
Everyone who works in the UK pays income tax on his or her salary. This is a legal requirement.