Self-employed: how to pay National Insurance

We've updated this guide on 11th July 2019

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 self-employed National Insurance 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:

Contribution Profits from self-employment How much you pay
No contribution under £6,365 £0
Class 2 over £6,365 £3 each week
Class 4 between £8,632 and £50,000 9%
Class 4 over £50,000 2%

These are separate and cumulative.

For example, if you earn £60,000 from self-employment, you pay:

  • £3 each week
  • plus 9% of 41,368 (£50,000 – £8,632) = £3,723
  • plus another 2% of £10,000 (£60,000 – £50,000) = £200
  • total NI contributions: £4,079.

If you don’t pay NI through Self Assessment

You don’t pay self-employed National Insurance through Self Assessment if you’re:

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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