How much is UK tax?

How much is UK tax?

When it comes to understanding how much tax you need to pay in the United Kingdom, it can be a complex and confusing topic. The UK tax system is known for its intricacies and nuances, which can make it difficult for individuals to navigate. In this article, we will break down the different types of taxes in the UK and provide an overview of how much you can expect to pay.

Income Tax

Income tax is one of the most significant taxes in the UK. It is a tax on your earnings, including wages, salaries, and pensions. The amount of income tax you pay depends on your income level and tax band. The UK has a progressive tax system, meaning that the more you earn, the higher the percentage of tax you will pay.

Tax Bands

There are different tax bands in the UK, each with its own tax rate. For the tax year 2021/2022, the tax bands are as follows:

  • Personal Allowance: £0 – £12,570 (0% tax rate)
  • Basic Rate: £12,571 – £50,270 (20% tax rate)
  • Higher Rate: £50,271 – £150,000 (40% tax rate)
  • Additional Rate: £150,001 and above (45% tax rate)

It’s important to note that these tax bands can change from year to year, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest rates.

National Insurance Contributions

In addition to income tax, individuals in the UK are also required to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs). NICs are used to fund state benefits, including the National Health Service (NHS), state pensions, and unemployment benefits.

The amount of NICs you pay depends on your employment status and income level. There are different classes of NICs, including Class 1 for employees, Class 2 for self-employed individuals, and Class 3 for voluntary contributions.

Class 1 NICs

For employees, Class 1 NICs are calculated based on your earnings. The rates for the tax year 2021/2022 are as follows:

  • Primary Threshold: £9,568 (0% NICs)
  • Upper Earnings Limit: £50,270 (12% NICs)
  • Additional Earnings Limit: £50,270 and above (2% NICs)

It’s worth noting that employers also contribute to NICs on behalf of their employees.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT is a consumption tax that is added to the price of most goods and services in the UK. The standard rate of VAT is currently 20%, but there are also reduced rates of 5% and 0% for certain goods and services.

Businesses that are registered for VAT charge VAT on their sales and can reclaim the VAT they have paid on their purchases. However, individuals who are not registered for VAT cannot reclaim the VAT they have paid.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax on the profit made when you sell or dispose of an asset that has increased in value. The rate of CGT depends on your income level and the type of asset you are selling.

For individuals, the rates for the tax year 2021/2022 are as follows:

  • Basic Rate taxpayers: 10%
  • Higher Rate and Additional Rate taxpayers: 20%

There are also specific rules and exemptions for certain assets, such as your primary residence and certain investments.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax on the estate of someone who has passed away. It is only applicable if the value of the estate exceeds the IHT threshold, which is currently set at £325,000.

The rate of IHT is 40% on the value of the estate above the threshold. However, there are certain exemptions and reliefs available, such as the spouse or civil partner exemption and the residence nil-rate band.


Understanding how much tax you need to pay in the UK can be a complex task. The UK tax system consists of various taxes, including income tax, National Insurance contributions, VAT, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax. The amount you pay depends on factors such as your income level, employment status, and the type of assets you own.

It’s important to stay informed about the latest tax rates and thresholds to ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax. Seeking professional advice from a tax advisor or accountant can also be beneficial in navigating the complexities of the UK tax system.


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