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Take the guesswork out of getting your NI number

A National Insurance (NI) number is a unique number assigned to individuals who work in the UK. It is vital you have one so that you pay the correct amount of tax and benefit from the UK health system. We can make sure you get your number as soon as possible.

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Frequently asked questions about the NI number

What is a National Insurance (NI) number?

It’s the number that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) allocates to you, in order for them to track your tax and National Insurance contributions and ensure that you are paying the correct amount. This number is unique to you; you keep the same number throughout your life. If you need to call the DWP or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), they will ask you for your NI number before they are able to assist you.

Do I really need one? Friends have told me that they worked for years without an NI number.

In short, yes. While you can work for some time with a temporary NI number, the practice of using these numbers to claim back tax is no longer allowed. You will need a permanent NI number in order to claim back overpaid tax at the end of the year.

Can I apply for one before I arrive in the UK?

No, the laws and policy around NI numbers require you to be in the UK with a reasonable need and right to apply for one.

What happens if I forget or lose my NI number?

If you lose or can’t remember your NI number, there are a few places you can usually check to find it. It is usually displayed on your pay slips as well as tax documents issued to you by your employer, for example, a P45 or P60 or a tax return from HMRC.

What is the National Insurance contribution? Is it like tax?

National Insurance contributions are compulsory deductions taken by your employer from your earnings and given to the UK pension scheme. These contributions are separate to regular income tax and are very similar to the compulsory superannuation payments in Australia. The UK pension scheme will use these funds to pay out to retired UK citizens eligible to draw a pension.


Myths about NI numbers

One of the greatest myths is the belief that you can't work without a NI number.

You are allowed to work with a temporary NI number. During this time, some employers will deduct emergency tax from your salary, usually at a flat rate of 22%. To claim this and any other tax back at the end of the year, you will need a permanent NI number.

Another great myth is that your NI appointment needs to be organised before you leave your home country.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), issues NI numbers. They have advised us that you need to be in the UK with a stamped passport before they can send out forms or confirm bookings for NI appointments. Once you arrive in the UK, you can phone Job Centre Plus immediately to get this organised.

Still have questions? Our Kickstart consultants are happy to have a chat.

Easy NINO + Kickstart Package discount

We offer an Easy NINO service as either a stand-alone service or an add-on to your Kickstart Package.

With this service, we assist you through the application process, including making phone calls and assisting you with paperwork.

Clients who have already signed up for the Kickstart Package receive this service at a discounted fee.

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News for all our 1st Contact clients

1st Contact is rebranding to Sable International.

For the last year we've been merging with our big brother, Sable International. In 2021, we're going to complete the rebrand.

The accountants, brokers, advisors and caseworkers that you are used to dealing with will not be going anywhere as the entire 1st Contact team will be in the same roles at Sable International. You'll still get that same great service, just under a new name.

We'll be keeping you in the loop as we prepare for the next exciting phase in this rebranding.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly.

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