How employment income is taxed—concept of general earnings
How employment income is taxed—concept of general earnings

The following Tax guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How employment income is taxed—concept of general earnings
  • What is employment income?
  • General earnings
  • Earnings under section 62
  • Specific employment income
  • Jurisdictional scope—is an employee subject to UK income tax on his general earnings?
  • When does the income tax charge on general earnings arise?
  • Taxation of directors and other office holders
  • NICs on earnings
  • Reform and the future

The UK has a comprehensive code for the taxation of employment income. This Practice Note deals with the basic principles of income tax on employment income and how they apply to earnings. It should be borne in mind that any type of reward received in relation to an individual’s employment may result in income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) charges (in the case of NICs, potentially for both the employer and employee). There are also complex rules on the collection of income tax on employment income and employee NICs under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) withholding regime.

What is employment income?

Employment income subject to income tax comprises:

  1. general earnings, and

  2. specific employment income

General earnings

General earnings include:

  1. earnings under section 62 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA 2003), and

  2. amounts treated as earnings under ITEPA 2003, s 7(5) (including taxable benefits, earnings of agency workers and other workers under arrangements made by intermediaries or managed service companies, and notional payments not made good)

The person liable for income tax on general earnings is the person to whose employment the earnings relate.

The charge to tax in respect of general earnings is on the net taxable earnings from the employment in the tax year.

Net taxable earnings are the taxable earnings from an