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First job in the UK taxes outlined

Migrant workers arriving in the UK for the first time won’t be aware of the tax system so might be shocked to learn how much of a worker’s income is taken in National Insurance and income tax. Your first job in the UK and the taxes you’ll pay on it might not be exactly what you expect.
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Emergency tax

The tax office won’t be able to assess your income tax level immediately so you’ll probably be placed onto emergency tax. This is a high rate of tax that will often leave you with a rebate when the tax office get your tax code right. At this time you’ll also be given a temporary National Insurance number, which is important as you’ll also be making NI payments throughout your career in the UK.

National Insurance

In order to begin paying NI contributions you’ll need a National Insurance number, or NINO. To get an NINO, you need to be formally interviewed. You can make arrangements for an interview by calling the National Insurance Number application line on 0345 600 0643. When you attend the interview you’ll need to bring proof of your identity and your rights to work in the UK. Taking along your passport is the best idea, but you’ll also need another form of ID such as a birth certificate or a driver’s licence.

Tax refunds

Aside from being rebated for taxes paid while on Emergency Tax, you may also be owed money back from the taxman if you don’t work a full year in the UK. You’ll need to head to gov.uk/claim-tax-refund if you feel that you’re owed money by the tax office.

NI if you go home

If you’re from another EU country and you go home, the NI contributions you’ve made in the UK can count towards benefits in your home nation.

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