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An employee is a person who works for a company through an employment contract.

If you’re an employee, your contract should show:

  • how much you get paid
  • what hours you are expected to work
  • how many days a year you get as paid holiday
  • what your employer will pay you when you’re sick
  • how long the notice period is.

Not everyone who works for a company is an employee; for example, a company may hire a freelancer or subcontractor instead. You should check with your employer, to be safe.

How you pay tax if you’re an employee:

Usually, your Income Tax and National Insurance contributions will be deducted from your salary and sent to HMRC by your employer. This tax payment system is called “Pay As You Earn” (PAYE).

However, sometimes you might need to file a Self Assessment tax return with HMRC as well:

  • if you have untaxed side income, such as from freelancing, renting out a property, income from savings, investments and dividends, or foreign income
  • other reasons, like claiming a tax relief or paying the High Income Child Benefit Charge
  • if you earn over £100,000, you need to submit a Self Assessment tax return, even if all your income is taxed through PAYE (this is a bit of a random rule from HMRC).

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