Class 2 National Insurance contributions from 6 April 2015: Small Earnings Exceptions
Regulation 46 of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001 No 1004) [(repealed)]
Regulation 47 of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001 No 1004) [(repealed)]
From the 2015 to 2016 tax year, Class 2 NICs will be payable annually through the Self Assessment system. A Class 2 NICs liability will only arise where the self-employed earner has relevant profits of or exceeding the small profits threshold – see NIM70300. Therefore SEE will no longer apply.
Tax years up to and including 2014 to 2015
A person whose net earnings from self-employment were, or were treated as being, less than the Small Earnings Exception (SEE) limit fixed for the relevant tax year could claim exception from liability to pay Class 2 NICs.
Where applicable, applications for SEE refunds could be claimed for the 2014 to 2015 tax year up to 31 January 2016.
If a self-employed contributor has paid Class 2 NICs for the 2014 to 2015 tax year when they satisfy the conditions for Small Earnings Exception (SEE), then a refund of those contributions may be made for that year or any part of that year, subject to the following:
- refunds can only be made for periods from and including 6 April 2014 to 5 April 2015
- applications must be made on or before 31 January 2016. This time limit cannot be extended, and
- applications must be made in writing and evidence of earnings must be provided (it may not always be in a person’s best interests to obtain a refund of Class 2 NICs on the grounds of low earnings and they should be advised about the benefit implications)
If an application is successful:
- the applicant is excepted from liability for the relevant period
- a refund of contributions will be made, and
- a certificate of exception will be issued for the period covered by the refund
If contributory benefits have been paid to the self-employed person or to anyone else based on the original Class 2 NICs, then the amount of the refund should be reduced by the amount of benefit paid.
For more information about Small Earnings Exception, see NIM21000.