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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

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Class 3 NICs: Restrictions on the right to pay: precluded Class 3 NICs: married women and widows with a reduced rate election

Regulation 132 Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001As explained in

NIM25001, a person is not entitled to pay (ie, is precluded from paying) Class 3 NICs in certain circumstances. One of those is that a married woman or widow cannot pay for any tax year during the whole of which a reduced rate election is in force (see NIM30000 for married women; NIM31000 for widows).

ExampleMrs K was born in 1956. In March 1976, she elected, as a married woman, that from 6th April 1976:

  • to pay Class 1 NICs at the reduced rate; and
  • not to pay Class 2 NICs when self-employed.In May 2003, concerned about her future pension entitlement, she chooses to revoke that election with effect from 1st June 2003 (

NIM30011).

Mrs K is precluded from paying Class 3 NICs for the 1975/76 to 2002/03 tax years. During the whole of each of those years, she had a reduced rate election. If she needs to, though, and so long as she is not precluded from doing so for some other reason, she may pay Class 3 NICs for the 2003/04 tax year. The election was not in force for the whole of that year as she revoked it from 1st June 2003.

For details of the other circumstances in which a person is precluded from paying Class 3 NICs, see NIM25006 - NIM25015 andNIM25017.