If you have a job when you’re a student you may need to pay Income Tax and National Insurance (NI).

Tax and National Insurance

You have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance if you earn over a certain amount. This is known as the Personal Allowance and is £10,000 in the tax year 2014 to 2015.

You have to pay NI if you earn more than £153 a week.

If you work for an employer in term-time then your Income Tax and National Insurance are usually taken automatically from your wages through Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

This applies to term-time and holiday jobs in the UK.

Holiday jobs abroad

If you normally live and study in the UK but work abroad during the holidays you’ll need to pay:

  • UK tax on anything you earn above the Personal Allowance
  • NI if you work for a UK employer

If you work for a foreign employer you don’t need to pay NI in the UK, but you might have to pay contributions in the country you’re working in.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
Telephone: 0300 200 3300
Textphone: 0300 200 3319
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

If you’re self-employed

If you work for yourself you need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return each tax year, with details of your income and expenses. HMRC then work out how much tax you need to pay.

Find out more about becoming self-employed.

Foreign students working in the UK

If you work in the UK while studying you’ll normally pay UK tax and NI.

You may be able to reclaim this tax when you leave by filling in a P85 form.

Overpaying tax

You can use HMRC’s tax checker to find out if you might have paid too much tax.


If you need help contact HMRC on 0300 200 3300. Find out about call charges.

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