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Self-employed: how to pay National Insurance

  • 1 min read
  • Last updated 2 Jun 2023

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 in the 2023/24 tax year:

ContributionProfits from self-employmentHow much you pay
Class 2over £6,725£3.45 each week
Class 4£12,570 – £50,2709%
Class 4over £50,2712%

Check out our National Insurance calculator

Your situation

Outlined number oneImage of an arrow
Self-employed income
Self-employed expenses
How did you make money?

Tax and profit

Outlined number two
  • Total earnings
    £1,000 tax-free Trading Allowance
  • NI contributions
    Class 2 NI: £164
    Class 4 NI: £3,632
  • Income tax
  • What you’re left with

How your National Insurance contributions are calculated

When you’re self-employed, you have to pay your National Insurance contributions yourself in your annual Self Assessment, together with any income tax you might owe.

National Insurance breakdown

You pay no NI contributions on the first £12,570 that you make.

You will need to pay Class 2 NI worth £164.

You will also have to pay £3,632 (9%) on your income between £12,570 and £48,000.

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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