National insurance contributions for unincorporated businesses

By Tolley
  • (Updated for Budget 2020)
Personal_tax_img4

The following Personal Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • National insurance contributions for unincorporated businesses
  • Class 2
  • Class 4
  • Employed and self-employed
  • Sleeping partners
  • Salaried members of limited liability partnerships (LLPs)

Sole traders and partners are liable to Class 2 and Class 4 national insurance contributions (NIC).

Class 2 NIC is a fixed weekly amount that is paid annually through the self assessment tax return for the tax year. Class 4 NIC is charged as a percentage of earnings and the amount due is calculated and reported on the self assessment tax return for the tax year.

It had been expected that Class 2 NIC would be abolished from 6 April 2019, with Class 4 NIC reformed to include a contributory benefit test. However, it was announced  on 6 September 2018 that the Government has abandoned this plan; Class 2 NIC will be retained in its current form.

Class 2

Class 2 NIC is payable by self-employed earners and partners in a partnership aged between 16 and the state pension age. 

SSCBA 1992, s 11(1), (2)

The age at which individuals are entitled to a state pension is gradually increasing.

For men born before 6 December 1953, the state pension age is 65 years. For those born after this date, the state pension age increases in tranches reaching 68 years for those born after 6 April 1978.

For women born after 6 April 1950, the state pension age increased gradually from 60 years until it reached 65 years for those born between 6 November 1953 and 5 December 1953. From then on, the state pension age for a woman is aligned to that of a man and so will eventually reach 68 years for those born after 6 April 1978.

There is a state pension age calculator on the GOV.UK website.

There is now a statutory requirement for the state pension age to be reviewed at least every six years. The first such review  was published in March 2017. In the July 2017 response  to this review, the Government proposed that the state pension age of 68 will be brought forward such that those born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978 will be affected,

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