Self-employed: how to pay National Insurance

While full-time employees have their income tax and National Insurance contributions (NI) paid through their employers (called the PAYE system), as a self-employed you have to calculate and pay them yourself.

Here is how you do it.

If you pay NI through Self Assessment

Most self-employed people pay NI as part of their Self Assessment tax bill.

You need to pay 2 types of National Insurance if you’re self-employed:

Contribution Profits from self-employment How much you pay
No contribution under £6,205 £0
Class 2 over £6,205 £2.95 each week
Class 4 between £8,424 and £46,350 9%
Class 4 over £46,350 2%

If you don’t pay NI through Self Assessment

You don’t pay NI through Self Assessment if you’re:

  • an examiner or another person who sets exam questions
  • running a businesses involving property
  • a minister of religion who doesn’t receive a salary
  • living overseas
  • a private investor
  • a non-UK resident who’s self-employed in the UK.

You can still make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance payments - for example to make sure you get the full State Pension or to cover gaps in your National Insurance record.

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