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Do you employ anyone under the age of 21?

16 October 2014 by Crystal HR & Payroll Ltd

From the 6 April 2015, if any of your employees are under the age of 21 you may no longer need to pay employer Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions (NICs) for them.

The rate of employer Class 1 secondary NICs for employees under the age of 21 will be 0% up to the new ‘Upper Secondary Threshold’ (UST) which, for the tax year starting 6 April 2015, will be the same as the Upper Earnings Limit (UEL). Class 1 secondary NICs will however continue to be payable on all earnings above this threshold. The basic rules and calculations of National Insurance including how Class 1 NICs are assessed will not be changed by this measure.

Class 1A and Class 1B NICs are not affected by this change and should be collected and reported as normal.

For employees who are at, or over the age of 16 and under the age of 21 there will be a range of new NI category letters to use when assessing secondary NICs in respect of the earnings paid to these employees. From 6 April 2015, when submitting PAYE information for employees under the age of 21 you will need to use the new category letter appropriate to the individual.

Do you employ anyone under the age of 21?

From the 6 April 2015, if any of your employees are under the age of 21 you may no longer need to pay employer Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions (NICs) for them.

The rate of employer Class 1 secondary NICs for employees under the age of 21 will be 0% up to the new ‘Upper Secondary Threshold’ (UST) which, for the tax year starting 6 April 2015, will be the same as the Upper Earnings Limit (UEL). Class 1 secondary NICs will however continue to be payable on all earnings above this threshold. The basic rules and calculations of National Insurance including how Class 1 NICs are assessed will not be changed by this measure.

Class 1A and Class 1B NICs are not affected by this change and should be collected and reported as normal.

For employees who are at, or over the age of 16 and under the age of 21 there will be a range of new NI category letters to use when assessing secondary NICs in respect of the earnings paid to these employees. From 6 April 2015, when submitting PAYE information for employees under the age of 21 you will need to use the new category letter appropriate to the individual.

The New Category Letters

Seven new category letters have been introduced to support this change, however three of the new letters will be removed in April 2016 in line with the ending of ‘contracted-out’ in relation to salary-related occupational pension schemes;

  1. M – Not contracted-out standard rate contributions for employees under 21
  2. Z – Not contracted-out deferred rate contributions for employees under 21
  3. Y – Mariners not contracted-out standard rate contributions for employees under 21
  4. P – Mariners not contracted-out deferred rate contributions for employees under 21
  5. V – Mariners Contracted-out Salary Related contributions for employees under 21
  6. I – Contracted-out Salary Related standard rate contributions for employees under 21
  7. K – Contracted-out Salary Related deferred rate contributions for employees under 21.

As with all other NIC calculations, it will be the responsibility of the employer to ensure they report the correct category letter. To do this, employers will need to make sure they hold the correct date of birth for employees.

We are currently working with software developers so their systems can be updated to reflect the new percentage rate, UST and category letters. HMRC Basic PAYE Tools will also be updated to reflect this change.

Further information will be available on GOV.UK later this year.

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