How much income tax should I pay?

You do not pay tax on all your income. HM Revenue and Customs gives us all 'allowances', which are deducted from our earnings before tax is calculated. Tax is only due on the balance.

When calculating taxable income you need to include any taxable benefits you receive, such as Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) paid during periods of unemployment and any interest from savings, as well as earnings from employment or pensions (including any State Pension) and taxable profits from self-employment.

Taxable benefits in kind provided, or expenses paid by your employer, will also need to be included.

The tax-free allowances you are entitled to are then deducted from total taxable income before the amount of tax payable is calculated. You will only have to pay tax on the amount over and above these allowances.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

What is WorkSmart?

A career coach that works for everyone.


Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Lightbulb brain

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.


Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals.

Worksmart circle