Students: Working in term time and the holidays

If you were a student for the period up to 5 April 2013 there were special rules about tax for students who only worked in the Easter, summer, and Christmas holidays. From 6 April 2013 these special rules no longer apply and your employer will operate Pay As You Earn (PAYE) to deduct Income Tax and National Insurance from your wages.

Working as an employee in term time and the holidays

Income Tax

If you had a previous job, your employer gave you a P45 when you left. Give this to your new employer.

Example of Form P45 (PDF 155K)

If you have no form P45, or you left your last job in an earlier tax year, you will need to complete a Starter Checklist. Your new employer will provide this checklist or ask you relevant information before your first pay day to tell Her Majesty Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about you.

Your new employer will use the form P45 or the Starter Checklist to find out your tax code from the HMRC. Using the tax code, your employer can work out correctly any tax you must pay. You can print a copy of the Starter Checklist by following the link below. Give it to your employer; do not send the checklist to HMRC.

Starter Checklist (PDF 747K)

You will only have to pay tax if you earn more than £9,440 in the tax year (6 April 2013 to 5 April 2014). This works out as £182 a week, or £786 a month. The tax code and the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system spread any tax due across the year as evenly as possible. In this way, if you work throughout the year, you will pay the right amount of tax. If you give up work part way through the year, a refund may be due.

Income Tax rates and thresholds

National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

You pay the same NICs whether or not you are a student. Your employer will deduct NICs from your pay if they are due.

NICs will be due for any week in which your gross pay (before deductions of tax and so on) is between £149 to £797 per week. If you earn more than £797 a week, you also pay 2% on all your earnings over £797.  

NICs are due on your pay for the week or month, so you will not get a refund if you stop working part way through the tax year.

National Insurance rates and thresholds

Working as a self-employed person while you are a student

There are no special tax rules for you if you are a student and also self-employed. You will be treated in the same way as other self-employed people.

You must tell the HMRC if you start working as a self-employed person. Do this by ringing the helpline for the newly self-employed on telephone: 0300 200 3504. You must do this within 3 months of starting to be self-employed to avoid paying a penalty.

Later, HMRC will send you a tax return, on which you will declare your earnings from being self-employed.

Self-employed tax and National Insurance