Class 2 National Insurance contributions
HMRC have announced changes to the payment due dates for Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) from April 2011.
Class 2 NICs are paid by all self-employed taxpayers unless they qualify for the small earnings exemption or other exemptions which remove the necessity to pay NICs.
Currently Class 2 NICs are set at a flat weekly rate of £2.40, with payment typically being made by monthly direct debit or by reference to quarterly bills.
From April 2011, payments for Class 2 NICs will become due on 31 January and 31 July, the same dates as those of a self-assessment tax bill. The self-employed will be able to continue paying monthly by direct debit although there will be a short hiatus during the move to the new system. Class 2 contributions due for April 2011 will not be debited from bank accounts until August 2011. In addition to the monthly direct debit option there will also be a six monthly direct debit facility for those who want to pay Class 2 NICs separately from their SA tax bills.
Class 2 NICs count towards payments such as the basic state pension, the employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits.