DMS Posts, PAYE, Tax

Tax and National Insurance rates and bands

Here are the changes that will come into effect in April 2021:

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Changes will come into effect on 1st April. Note the different age bands for rates in 2021/22.

2021/222020/21
Employees aged under 18: NMW£4.62£4.55
Employees aged 18-20: NMW£6.56£6.45
Employees aged 23 and over: NLW£8.91N/A
Employees aged 25 and over: NLWN/A£8.72
Employees aged 21-24: NMWN/A£8.20
Employees aged 21-22: NMW£8.36N/A

England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Changes will come into effect on 6th April 2021.

2021/222020/21
Personal allowance£12,570£12,500
Employee’s NI becomes due at£9,568£9,500
Employer’s NI becomes due at£8,840£8,788
Higher rate tax becomes due at£50,270£50,000
Class 2 NI becomes due when profits exceed£6,515£6,475
Class 2 NI per week£3.05£3.05
Class 4 NI becomes due when profits exceed£9,568£9,500

Scottish tax rates and bands

Changes will come into effect on 6th April 2021.

2021/222020/21
Personal allowance£0 – £12,570£0 – £12,500
Starter rate 19%£12,571 – £14,667£12,501 – £14,585
Basic rate 20%£14,668 – £25,296£14,586 – £25,158
Intermediate rate 21%£25,297 – £43,662£25,159 – £43,430
Higher rate 41%£43,663 – £150,000£43,431 – £150,000
Top rate 46%Over £150,000Over £150,000

Student Loan repayment thresholds and new Scottish student loan plan

Changes will come into effect on 6th April 2021.

2021/222020/21
Undergraduate loan: plan 1£19,895£19,390
Undergraduate loan: plan 2£27,295£26,575
Scottish student loan: plan 4£25,000N/A
Postgraduate loan£21,000£21,000
DMS Posts, PAYE

What is CEST?

Definition of CEST

CEST is short for Check Employment Status for Tax. It’s a digital tool designed by HMRC to help public authorities decide if a worker falls inside or outside the scope of IR35.

The tool comes in a quiz-like format and can be accessed here.

Why was CEST introduced?

When off-payroll working rules were introduced to the public sector in 2017, the onus to certify whether a worker fell inside or outside IR35 shifted from the worker to the public sector authority.

HMRC produced the CEST tool to help public sector authorities make these decisions quickly and cheaply.

An updated version of the CEST tool was released in November 2019.

Does CEST only apply to the public sector?

CEST can be used in both the private sector and the public sector but it’s important to note that the private sector is assessed differently under the off-payroll regulations. In the private sector, the onus is on contractors to declare whether they fall inside or outside IR35, rather than their clients.

From April 2021, the rules on off-payroll working in the private sector are set to change, bringing it in line with the rules that apply to the public sector for contractors working with large and medium-sized business clients.