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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 4 NICs: structure from 6 April 2003: background

In his 2002 Budget Statement, the Chancellor announced that, with effect from 6 April 2003, a new Class 4 NICs liability would exist on all profits or gains exceeding the Upper Profits Limit (UPL). The new liability was set at 1%.

In addition, the Chancellor announced a 1% increase in the existing rate of Class 4 NICs on profits or gains between the Lower Profits Limit (LPL) and the UPL.

Although the changes affect the method by which Class 4 NICs are calculated and the amount of Class 4 NICs that are due from 6 April 2003, no changes were made to the underlying principles of Class 4 NICs liability.

Liability for Class 4 NICs continues to arise:

  • only in respect of those contributors who are self-employed or who, by virtue of the Categorisation Regulations, are treated as self-employed
  • only when the profits or gains from self-employment exceed the LPL
  • on profits or gains computed in accordance with Schedule 2 of SSCBA 92
  • annually, with payments being paid together with income tax under Self Assessment.

Although the impact of the changes have been kept to a minimum, the introduction of a Class 4 NICs liability on profits and gains above the UPL has had consequential effects on certain Class 4 NICs issues. The main areas affected are:

  • the annual Class 4 NICs maxima, see NIM24150 
  • deferment of Class 4 NICs, see NIM24004 
  • excess Class 4 refunds, see NIM24170