Understanding tax and checking your details in the HMRC App
We know understanding tax can be difficult! Many young people say they haven’t had any tax education and therefore don’t know what to expect when starting out on their career journey. HMRC want to help you to understand the role tax will play in your life and make starting your new job as simple as possible.
So, what is tax?
His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) collect tax from every single person and business in the UK. They collect more than £600 billion in taxes every year and use this to save and improve the lives of people in the UK – by funding health services, paying benefits and much more!
What happens once you start working?
Just before your 16th birthday, you should receive your National Insurance (NI) number in a letter from HMRC. This number is very important, as it is completely unique to you and stays the same throughout your life.
This number links to your National Insurance contributions that are collected from your pay when you begin working and start to build up the benefits that will help you later in life – like your state pension.
Each tax year, you’re allowed to earn a certain amount of money without paying tax. This is called a personal allowance and HMRC will tell you what this is with a tax code. Your employer will then use this code to calculate how much Income Tax you’ll need to pay on your earnings.
What happens if you misplace your National Insurance number?
HMRC want to make applying for apprenticeships quick and easy, so you can now access your NI number through the HMRC App.
Previously, if you couldn’t find your NI number you would have to contact HMRC and wait for it to be sent by post, which could take up to 15 days! But now, NI numbers can be viewed, shared and printed in the HMRC App within minutes, and saved for future use too.
There are two simple steps to using the HMRC App for the first time:
- Download the free HMRC App from:
The App Store for iOS
the Google Play Store for Android.
- Sign in using a Government Gateway user ID and password. It’s okay if you don’t already have an ID and password, this can be created on the same sign-in page.
You’ll then be able to easily find your NI number on the homepage of the app, which you can share with your employer to get into your apprenticeship quicker.
How to keep track of your earnings when you start your apprenticeship?
Once in your role, you can keep track of your tax and National Insurance payments in the HMRC App. Alongside this, there are many other features to help you oversee your finances, including, monitoring payments and refunds, the option to update HMRC about changes to your personal details and more!
If you want to learn more about your tax responsibilities before joining the working world, watch HMRC’s Tax Facts videos for further information.