This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 3 NICs: time limits for paying Class 3 NICs: Class 3 time limits

Regulation 48(3)(b) of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001 No 1004)

Regulation 48(3)(b) provides for the conditions and circumstances in which a person shall not be entitled to pay Class 3 contribuitions. 

Class 3 NICs for tax years from 6 April 1982 - Regulation 4(3) of the Social Security (Crediting and Treatment of Contributions and National Insurance Numbers) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001 No 769)

Class 3 NICs paid after the end of the sixth tax year after the one for which they are being paid, are treated as not paid and do not count for benefits. Class 3 NICs paid no later than the end of the sixth tax year after the one for which they are being paid are treated as paid on the date on which they paid - so they count for benefit purposes.

If the Class 3 NICs are

  • for a tax year which included a period lasting at least six months, of

    • full time education
    • full time apprenticeship or training (provided the earnings were below the lower earnings limit for the year) or
    • imprisonment or detention in legal custody

or

  • for a tax year including a period shorter than six months which falls immediately before or after the above,

Class 3 NICs must be paid before the end of the sixth year following the year in which the education, apprenticeship, training, imprisonment or detention ended.

Class 3 NICs for tax years ending before 6 April 1982 - Regulation 4(2) of the Social Security (Crediting and Treatment of Contributions and National Insurance Numbers) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001 No 769)

Class 3 NICs for tax years ending before 6 April 1982 paid after the end of the second tax year after the one for which they are being paid, are treated as not paid and do not count for benefits. Class 3 NICs paid no later than the end of the second tax year after the one for which they are being paid are treated as paid on the date on which they are paid for benefit purposes.

Extending the time limits within which Class 3 NICs can be paid

The time limits for Class 3 NICs can be extended in certain circumstances, see NIM25030.