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  • Self-employed Class 2 National Insurance

How to pay self-employed Class 2 National Insurance

This guide gives you the payment deadlines for paying Class 2 National Insurance contributions and tells you about your payment options.

If you've had a letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about Class 2 National Insurance that's overdue there's information to help you at the end of the guide. Follow the link below to paying overdue Class 2 National Insurance

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Class 2 National Insurance contributions payment deadlines

From April 2011 if you're self-employed you can pay your Class 2 National Insurance:

  • monthly or 6 monthly by Direct Debit
  • in response to payment requests from HMRC in October and April

The table below shows the due dates for payment of Class 2 National Insurance contributions for 2014-15. You can also make one-off payments for any arrears you may owe.

Payment request issue date Period covered by payment requests Number of contribution weeks Payment date
October 2014 06/04/14 to 11/10/14 26 31/01/15
April 2015 12/10/14 to 11/04/15 26 31/07/15

If a payment request includes Class 2 National Insurance contributions for periods where the payment date has passed you must pay those contributions immediately. Otherwise HMRC may take action to collect payment.

The example below shows what will be included on a payment request issued in April 2012 if a person has not paid Class 2 National Insurance contributions for earlier period.

Payment request issue date Period of liability Number of contribution weeks Payment date
April 2012 09/10/11 to 07/04/12 26 31/07/12
24 October 2011 10/04/11 to 08/10/11 26 To be paid immediately

You may have to pay a higher rate if you are late paying your Class 2 National Insurance contributions. And this can affect your entitlement to contributory benefits.

See the section below on Paying by Direct Debit for tables of monthly and 6 monthly payment dates and rates.

More about self-employed tax and National Insurance

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Use the right payment reference

When you pay HMRC it is important that you use the right reference number. This makes sure your payment reaches your account and that way you won't get reminders after you've paid.

To pay your self employed Class 2 National Insurance contributions you will need to use your 18 digit reference number. You can find your reference on the payment request that HMRC sends you. The first 2 characters are always '11' and the final character can be an 'X'. For example 110362020162306149.

Make sure you enter your reference number with no spaces between the characters or it could lead to delays in updating your account.

If your payment is overdue see the section below on Paying overdue Class 2 National Insurance.

Paying overdue Class 2 National Insurance

Check your Class 2 National Insurance contributions reference with HMRC's reference checker

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Direct Debit - How to set up

Direct Debit is an easy and secure way of paying your self-employed Class 2 National Insurance contributions. HMRC collects the payment automatically from your bank or building society either:

  • each month 4 months in arrears
  • 6 monthly in January and July

HMRC recommends that you pay by Direct Debit because:

  • it's safe and secure
  • unlike with other ways of paying, you are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee
  • it puts you in control, making it less likely you'll miss a payment
  • Direct Debit provides certainty about when your payment will reach HMRC
  • it avoids the need to write cheques - and saves postage if you normally pay by post

Find out about the Direct Debit Guarantee (PDF 49K)

Setting up Direct Debit

To set up payment by Direct Debit you need to complete a Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) and return it to HMRC - don't forget to sign and date your instruction. Once the Direct Debit has been set-up payments will be collected for as long as you want. The tables below tell you the collection dates and amounts for the 2014-15 tax year.

You can download a DDI using the link below.

If you are currently paying by:

  • a 6 monthly payment request and want to change to Direct Debit
  • monthly Direct Debit and would like to switch to pay by 6 monthly Direct Debit you can use the form below to tell HMRC

Download a DDI form (CA5601) (PDF 217K)

How much time to allow

It can take at least 21 days to set up your Direct Debit with your bank or building society. HMRC will write to you in advance and confirm the date of the first payment.

If you asked HMRC to collect contributions when you started self-employment with your first payment collected by Direct Debit, that payment may cover more than 1 month.

Monthly collection dates and amounts for 2014-15
Date of payment Amount
9 May 2014 £10.80
13 June 2014 £10.80
11 July 2014 £10.80
8 August 2014 £13.75
12 September 2014 £11.00
10 October 2014 £11.00
14 November 2014 £13.75
12 December 2014 £11.00
9 January 2015 £13.75
13 February 2015 £11.00
13 March 2015 £11.00
10 April 2015 £13.75

Total £142.40
Six monthly collection dates and amounts 2014-15
Date of payment Amount
9 January 2015 £74.75
10 July 2015 £71.50
- Total £146.25

Only the amounts shown in the tables above will be collected by Direct Debit.

HMRC won't collect any other amounts in this way.

Your bank statement

The amount paid by Direct Debit will appear on your bank statement with the description 'HMRC NI - DD'.

Changes to your Direct Debit

You can notify HMRC of a change in bank details by completing form CA5601.

Download a DDI form (CA5601) (PDF 217K)

Contacting HMRC for Direct Debit help

If you would like more information and advice about paying by Direct Debit you can call HMRC's National Insurance Self-Employed Helpline on Tel 0300 200 3505.

Find out the National Insurance Self-Employed Helpline opening hours

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Paying at your bank by Bank Giro

If your bank or building society offers the Bank Giro service you can make a payment at your own bank branch by cheque or cash. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post.

If paying this way please:

  • take your HMRC payslip to your own bank branch (other banks may refuse to accept it or may charge you for this service)
  • make cheques payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by your self-employed Class 2 National Insurance contributions reference number

Please allow at least 3 bank working days for your payment to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

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At the Post Office

You can make a payment at the Post Office by cheque, cash or debit card without charge. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post. If paying at the Post Office please:

If paying this way please:

  • take your HMRC payslip with you (or you will be charged for using this service)
  • make cheques payable to 'Post Office Ltd'

Please allow at least 3 bank working days for your payment to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

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By post

HMRC recommends that you make your self employed Class 2 National Insurance contribution electronically using one of the methods covered in this guide. Electronic payments are more efficient and secure than sending cheques by post

If you do need to pay by post please:

  • make your cheque payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by your 18 digit self-employed Class 2 National Insurance contributions reference number
  • send your cheque and payslip to HMRC's National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office at the address below
  • don't fold the payslip or cheque and don't fasten them together

If you want to send one cheque to pay both your Class 2 National Insurance contributions and Self Assessment please send both your Class 2 National Insurance contributions and Self Assessment payslips with your cheque. This will enable HMRC to update your accounts promptly and will avoid any impact on benefits due to late notification.

Please allow at least three working days for your payment to reach HMRC. This allows for any delays in the post outside of HMRC's control.

Where to send your payment

HM Revenue & Customs
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

Postdated cheques

HMRC will only accept a postdated cheque up to three months before payment is due unless you have made an arrangement with them.

HMRC have automated the way they deal with payments sent by post. So you will need to send a letter with your post dated cheque. Otherwise HMRC won't know that the cheque is postdated and will present it straight away.

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Payment receipt requests

If you have made your payment electronically using one of the methods described in this guide you can confirm from your own bank or building society statement that payment has cleared your account.

If you send your payment by post you will need to send a letter with your payment if you want a receipt. Please don't write on your HMRC payslip as they are processed automatically.

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What to do if you don't have a payslip

HMRC recommends that you pay your Class 2 National Insurance contributions electronically using one of the methods covered in this guide. Electronic payments are more efficient and secure than sending payment by post. If you are paying by post and you don't have a payslip you should send these details to HMRC with your payment:

  • name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • 18 digit self-employed Class 2 National Insurance contributions reference if you have it, or your National Insurance number
  • the amount of National Insurance you are paying

If you want to send one cheque to pay both your Class 2 National Insurance contributions and Self Assessment but you do not have your Self Assessment payslip you will also need to tell HMRC:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (or National Insurance number)
  • the amount of Self Assessment you are paying

You should use the contact details described in the Paying by post section of this guide.

Paying by post

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Paying overdue Class 2 National Insurance

If your payment is overdue HMRC will send you a letter to remind you. Make sure you pay the overdue amount immediately. If you cannot pay the full amount you should contact HMRC straight away. You'll find the contact details on the letter.


How you pay an overdue amount is the same as your usual Class 2 National Insurance payments except:

  • if you want to set up a Direct Debit - phone HMRC using the number on the letter
  • the payment reference number - the first 2 characters will always be '73' , for example 730362020162306149

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More useful links

Find out what you can do if you have a problem making a payment

Read important notes about HMRC's request for you to pay National Insurance contributions - CA0311 (PDF 59K)

Bank details for Faster Payments by online/telephone banking or CHAPS

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