Starting a new business? Get 40% off our accountancy services for 3 months! 😎


Read our guide to UK tax rates and thresholds for sole traders, limited companies, partners and partnerships, employers, and other businesses.

UK tax is a massive subject, so getting to grips with all of the rules and regulations can be difficult. With so many different types of tax, each with their own tax bands and thresholds, allowances, rates, and relief schemes, it’s understandable that you might feel a bit lost!

Just to make things even more confusing, the structure of a business also affects its tax reporting requirements and deadlines. This means the way you pay tax varies depending on whether you’re a sole trader, a limited company, a partnership, or another type of business.

The type and rate of taxes that you pay can also change according to your employment status as an employee or an employer. You might even be both, if you’re the owner and director of your own company and pay yourself a salary, or if you have a side-hustle on the go!

Our guide to business tax explains this year’s tax brackets and rates for 2023/24 as well as 2024/25 where that information is available. It also looks back to the 2022/23 tax year. We’ll go through how different types of tax might affect you, and what this means for being tax efficient in your business.

The Personal Allowance

Income tax thresholds, rates, and bands

National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW)

National Insurance for employers, employees, and self-employed people

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Allowances

Corporation Tax

Dividend Tax

VAT registration threshold and VAT rates

When do tax rates change?

Tax rates and allowances are normally set before the start of a new tax year and then stay at that level until the following year, although mid-year changes can sometimes take place.

The UK tax year always runs from 6th April to 5th April the following year.

The government normally make a Budget statement to announce any changes to UK tax brackets and rates, though they might sometimes introduce emergency measures. The most recent ‘fiscal event’ was Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement 2023 delivered on 22nd November.

Our guide below explains the different types of tax which might affect your business as well as your personal income. If you need any help with tax, or need support with another area of your business, chat to one of the team about our online accounting services, or get an instant quote online.

Comprehensive tax return services

From only £24.50 per month

Learn more

What is the tax-free Personal Allowance?

The personal tax allowance is the amount of income you can earn in a tax year before you need to start paying income tax on it. The allowance will be deducted from the total amount that you earn in a year, so you’ll only pay tax on the part of your income that’s left over.

Even if you’re employed and self-employed, or receive your income from a variety of sources, you’ll only be able to use the personal allowance once in a tax year.

For instance, you might earn wages from an employer, receive income from property, make money from business activities, or a combination of all of these. The personal allowance will be applied against the total amount, not separately against each source.

You might also be able to use the tax-free trading allowance against the first £1,000 of income you make from self-employment.

How much is the Personal Allowance in 2024/25?

The tax-free personal allowance normally increases slightly each year, but the threshold for 2024/25 (6th April 2024 – 5th April 2025) will remain frozen at the 2023/24 level of £12,570.

The tax-free Personal Allowance for 2024/25 is


You’ll pay income tax on any earnings which are above the £12,570 threshold. For example, if you earn £18,000 in a tax year and deduct the Personal Allowance then the taxable element of your income is £5,430.

Bar chart example of tax rate deductions

The Personal Allowance for high earners

It’s worth noting that the tax-free Personal Allowance starts to reduce if you earn a higher level of income. For every £2 that you earn above £100,000, the Personal Allowance reduces by £1. This means that if you earn £125,140 or more, your personal tax allowance is zero.

How do income tax thresholds, rates, and allowances work?

A tax rate is the percentage of tax payable on money within a particular range, known as a tax band. UK income tax is worked out as a series of marginal bands, which means that you only pay the relevant tax rate on the part of your income within that tax band.

The amount of tax that you pay is worked out as a percentage (known as a tax rate) of your income.

It helps to think of the income tax system as a stack of containers. Each container is a tax band, and represents a portion of your salary at a particular level of income. You’ll pay one rate of tax on the first container of income. If your earnings are more than the first container can hold, you’ll start filling up the next container, and pay a different rate of tax on the earnings that go into it.

Income tax myth buster

It’s a common misconception, but if you earn more money and move up into a new tax band, this doesn’t mean that your new tax rate applies to all of your earnings. You’ll only pay the new tax rate on the part of your earnings within the new tax band.

Use our free online tax calculators to work out your take home pay.

What are the income tax rates and thresholds in 2023/24 and 2024/25?

The table below shows the income tax rates and band thresholds for 2022/23, 2023/24, and 2024/25 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland uses different tax bands and thresholds, so these are shown in the following section.

We know how confusing tax can be, so take a look at our online tax accounting services, or get an instant quote online if you need help.

Tax Rate 2022/23
Tax Band Threshold
Tax Band Threshold
Tax Band Threshold
Personal allowance: How much income you can earn before you start to pay income tax. No tax on this income. £0 – £12,570 £0 – £12,570 £0 – £12,570
Basic rate income tax: 20% tax on the proportion of income which falls into this tax bracket. £12,571 – £50,270
£12,571 – £50,270
£12,571 – £50,270
Higher rate income tax: The part of your income which falls into this tax band is taxed at 40% £50,271 – £150,000
£50,271 – £125,140
£50,271 – £125,140
Additional rate income tax: This is the highest rate. The income you earn above this threshold is subject to tax at 45% £150,000 upwards
£125,140 upwards
£125,140 upwards


For example

If you earn a self-employed or salaried income of £60,000 in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland during the 2024/25 tax year, you’ll pay:

  • 0% tax on the first £12,570
  • 20% basic rate tax on the part of your income which falls into the next tax bracket (£12,571 up to £50,270). This means you’ll pay 20% tax on £37,700.
  • 40% higher rate income tax on the next chunk (£50,271 up to £60,000), so you’ll pay 40% tax on £9,730.

2023/24 and 2024/25 Income tax in Scotland

This table shows the Scottish income tax band thresholds in 2022/23, 2023/24, and for 2024/25, along with the percentage tax rate which applies to the income in each band. The 2024/25 tax year will see the introduction of a new ‘Advanced rate’ tax band for taxpayers in Scotland.

Tax Rate 2022/23
Tax Band Thresholds
Tax Band Thresholds
Tax Band Thresholds
Personal allowance: No tax on this income. £0 – £12,570 £0 – £12,570 £0 – £12,570
Starter rate £12,571 – £14,732
19% tax
£12,571 – £14,732
19% tax
£12,571 – £14,876
19% tax
Basic rate £14,733 – £25,688
20% tax
£14,733 – £25,688
20% tax
£14,877 – £26,561
20% tax
Intermediate rate £25,689 – £43,662
21% tax
£25,689 – £43,662
21% tax
£26,562 – £43,662
21% tax
Higher rate £43,663 – £150,000
41% tax
£43,663 – £125,140
42% tax
£43,663 – £75,000
42% tax
Advanced rate
Not in use

Not in use
£75,001 – £125,140
45% tax
Top rate Over £150,000
46% tax
Over £125,140
47% tax
Over £125,140
48% tax

For example

Using the same salary of £60,000 from our previous example, in 2023/24 a Scottish taxpayer will pay:

  • 0% tax on the first £12,570.
  • 19% on the proportion of your income subject to the starter rate, which covers £12,571 – £14,732. You’ll pay 19% tax on £2,161.
  • 20% basic rate tax on the part of your income which falls into the next tax bracket (£14,733 – £25,688). This means you’ll pay 20% tax on £10,955.
  • 21% tax on the part of your salary which falls into the intermediate tax band, which is £25,689 – £43,662. You’ll pay 21% tax on £17,973.
  • 40% higher rate income tax on the next chunk (from £43,663 up to the £60,000 salary we’re using in this example). So, you’ll pay 40% tax on £16,337.


There are rules which state the basic minimum hourly rate an employer must pay an employee, depending on how old they are.

The minimum hourly rates for National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage usually increase each tax year. Thanks to their similar sounding names, it can be very easy to confuse them, so our article explains the differences between the National Living Wage, National Minimum Wage, and the Living Wage in more detail.

How much is the National Minimum Wage?

National Minimum Wage is worked out on the basis of the employee’s age, although there are different rates which apply for apprentices. Our table below shows the rate of National Minimum Wage for 2023/24 and for 2024/25 as of 1st April 2024.

Employee Age 2023/24 2024/25
Apprentices and Under 18s £5.28 £6.40
18 to 20 years old £7.49 £8.60
21 to 22 years old £10.18 £11.44

How much is the National Living Wage?

The National Living Wage (NLW) in 2023/24 is

£10.42 per hour

The National Living Wage is the minimum amount which employers must pay to employees who are 23 or older. In April 2024 the age threshold will reduce to employees aged 21 and older, and the minimum hourly rate will increase to £11.44.


Does everyone need to pay National Insurance?

You’ll need to make National Insurance Contributions on earnings above the payment threshold if you’re aged 16 or over, up until you reach State Pension age. Paying the right amount of National Insurance (known as making National Insurance Contributions, or NICs) is important, because it can count towards your eligibility for some benefits and the state pension.

National Insurance is paid by employees and self-employed workers on their income, and by employers on the wages they pay their staff. The rate of National Insurance that you pay can change because it depends on your employment status, as well as on how much money you earn.

There are different types of National Insurance, known as ‘classes’, and the class that you pay depends on the source of income. For instance, self-employed people pay Class 4 National Insurance.

Will I pay different types of National Insurance?

You might pay more than one type (or class) of National Insurance in the same tax year. This can happen if you work for someone as an employee as well as earning other income from self-employment.

Another common example is someone who is both an employer and an employee (such as someone who is a director of their own limited company), but there are other reasons too.

How much National Insurance will I pay?

Payment thresholds and rates vary across different types of National Insurance, so the amount of NI you will pay in a year depends on both how you earn your money, and whether you go over the payment threshold.

Our tables below show the rates and thresholds for each class of National Insurance for employers, employees, and self-employed people, or request an instant quote for our online accounting services if you need more help.

Class 1 Primary National Insurance for employees

Employees pay Class 1 (Primary) National Insurance on money they earn working for an employer. It’s worked out as a percentage of their income, and their employer deducts what they owe from their wages before paying them. The employer then uses the PAYE system to pay these deductions, known as NI contributions, to HMRC on the employee’s behalf.

Employers can only make these deductions if the employee qualifies for Class 1 National Insurance based on how much money they earn and their age. Use our free online salary and tax calculator to work out your take-home pay.

Although National Insurance thresholds will remain frozen until April 2028, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2023 announced the rate of Class 1 NI which employees pay will change during the 2023/24 tax year.

2023/24 Class 1 (Primary) National Insurance thresholds and rates for employees

Employees don’t pay National Insurance or accrue benefits, such as qualifying payments towards their State Pension, on earnings below the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL).

Weekly Threshold
Annual Threshold
Weekly Threshold
Annual Threshold
Lower Earnings Limit (LEL): No NI to pay on earnings between the limit and the Primary Threshold, but employees will earn NI ‘credits’ and accrue benefits. £123 £6,396 £123 £6,396
Primary Threshold: Employees pay Class 1 National Insurance on earnings above the Primary Threshold up to (and including) the Upper Earnings Limit. The rate changes part way through 2023/24:

6th April 2023 – 5th January 2024: 12%
6th January 2024 – 5th April 2024: 10%
2024/25: 10%
£242 £12,570 £242 £12,570
Upper Earnings Limit (UEL): Earnings above the Upper Earnings Limit incur NI at:

2023/24: 2%
2024/25: 2%
£967 £50,270 £967 £50,270

Class 1 Secondary National Insurance for employers

An employee’s National Insurance payment actually consists of two parts. The primary part is their own contribution which comes out of their pay, and then there’s a secondary NI contribution which their employer makes.

As an employer you’ll need to make PAYE submissions to tell HMRC about the deductions you make on behalf of your employees, as well as the contributions you make as their employer.

The National Insurance contributions you make as an employer are an additional cost to consider when you think about hiring someone, along with their wages and any pension contributions. Use our free online calculator to work out the cost of hiring someone, or chat to one of the team for more help.

If you’re brand new to all this, don’t worry! Our guide for new employers explains what you need to do if you’re taking on staff for the first time.

2023/24 Class 1 (Secondary) National Insurance thresholds and rates for employers

Weekly Threshold
Annual Threshold
Weekly Threshold
Annual Threshold
Secondary Threshold: On salary payments above this threshold employers make NI contributions at a rate of:

2023/24: 13.8%
2024/25: 13.8%
£175 £9,100 £175 £9,100

Eligible employers can claim relief on the cost of their National Insurance bill using the Employment Allowance.

In 2022/23, 2023/24, and 2024/25 the Employment Allowance is


Employers must have at least 1 employee (or 2 directors) on the payroll to be eligible for the Employment Allowance. The directors can’t already be claiming the allowance through another company.

Class 1A or 1B National Insurance for employers

As well as making NI contributions on the wages that they pay their staff, employers must also make Class 1A and 1B National Insurance contributions on the equivalent financial value of any work benefits (known as Benefits in Kind, or BiKs) which they provide to employees.

The rate of Class 1A and 1B National Insurance is the same as Class 1 (Secondary) NI which employers pay on wages. Employers can report these benefits through payroll or by submitting a P11D form, as well as submitting a P11D(b) form to report the National Insurance they owe.

Complete managed payroll service

From just £12.00 per payslip

Learn more

Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance for self-employed people

Depending on how much you earn, you may need to make National Insurance contributions on any profits you make from self-employment. The amount you must pay is worked out using your Self Assessment tax return.

There are currently two types of self-employed National Insurance which, like self-employed Income Tax, you pay on your profits, not your total income. So make sure you claim tax relief on your expenses!

What happens to my National Insurance if I’m self-employed and employed?

Some people work for an employer as well as being self-employed during the same tax year. Unlike income tax which looks at all of your income during a tax year, National Insurance is broken down into how you earn the money, so you might pay different types of NI on each source of income.

2023/24 Class 2 and Class 4 self-employed National Insurance thresholds and rates

Self-employed National Insurance has gone through several changes in recent years, with adjustments to both the rate and threshold during 2022/23. Class 2 National Insurance will be abolished altogether from April 2024, and the main rate of Class 4 NI will be reduced. Our table below sets out the different rates of NI applied to self-employed profits, and the point at which each rate kicks in.

Annual Threshold
Annual Threshold
Annual Threshold
You won’t pay National Insurance on self-employed profits below the Small Profits Threshold, but you can make voluntary contributions to fill any gaps in your NI record. £0 – £6,724 £0 – £6,724 £0 – £6,724
Small Profits Threshold (SPT): You won’t pay NI on profits at or above this point and below the Lower Profits Threshold (LPT), but you will build up National Insurance credits. £6,725 £6,725 £6,725
Lower Profits Threshold (LPT): The point at which you start paying Class 2 National Insurance on profits received in 2022/23 and 2023/24. This type of NI will be abolished in April 2024.

2022/23: £3.15 per week
2023/24: £3.45 per week
2024/25: Abolished
£11,908 £12,570 £12,570
Lower Profits Limit (LPL): You’ll start paying Class 4 National Insurance on your profits at a rate of:

2022/23: 9.73%
2023/24: 9%
2024/25: 8%
£11,908 £12,570 £12,570
Upper Profits Limit (UPL): The profits you make from self-employment incur Class 4 NI at a slightly different rate above this threshold.

2022/23: 2.73%
2023/24: 2%
2024/25: 2%
£50,270 £50,270 £50,270


What is Capital Gains Tax?

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is payable on any profit you make after ‘disposing’ of an asset that you own. Disposing of an asset usually means that you’ve sold it, but it can also involve giving it away, swapping it for something else, or being compensated for its loss in other ways.

The amount of Capital Gains Tax that you owe is based on the profit or ‘gain’ that you make (the difference between the cost of acquiring it and what you received for its disposal), not on the total amount of money that you receive disposing of the asset.

The annual exempt amount (the AEA) is the total amount of gains you can make in a year before starting to pay tax on them. If your gains go over the annual amount then you’ll only pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the part that’s above the threshold (and you can use the personal tax allowance at the same time). The exemption threshold is different for individuals and trustees.

Individuals Trustees
2022/23 £12,300 £6,150
2023/24 £6,000 £3,000
2024/25 £3,000 £1,500

You’ll start paying CGT on gains that you make above those thresholds. The rate of Capital Gains Tax that you pay depends on what the gain results from (in other words, what you disposed of), and what rate of income tax you pay.

How much is the rate of Capital Gains Tax?

Capital Gains Tax is charged based on what you disposed of in order to make the gain, and whether you’re a basic rate or higher rate taxpayer. The rates remain unchanged for 2022/23, 2023/24, and 2024/25.

Basic Rate Taxpayer Higher Rate Taxpayer Trustee
Gains from residential property 18% 28% 28%
Gains from other chargeable assets 10% 20% 20%

You may also be eligible to claim Business Asset Disposal Relief on any assets that qualify. This was formerly known as Entrepreneur’s Relief.

What’s the difference between the Capital Gains Tax allowance and Capital Allowances?

Even though they sound similar enough to be confusing, the allowance for Capital Gains Tax and Capital Allowances are different parts of the same process.

Capital gains deal with the ‘gain’ that you make when you dispose of an asset which has increased in value. You’ll pay Capital Gains Tax on the gains you make if the total is above the allowance (also known as the annual exempt amount). It’s a bit like the Personal Allowance or the Dividend Allowance in that respect.

Only individuals and trusts can use the annual exempt amount, but businesses can’t, so that’s where capital allowances come in. These enable businesses to offset the cost of big-ticket purchases (known as capital items) against their tax bill.


What are capital allowances for?

Capital allowances enable a company to claim tax relief (and therefore reduce their tax bill) against assets they keep and use in the business. They can be a bit tricky because there are different types available, each with their own thresholds and rules.

Read our article about the Different Types of Capital Allowances to learn more.

Full Expensing (FE) made permanent

One type of capital allowance, Full Expensing (FE), was introduced as a temporary relief measure in Spring Budget 2023. The Autumn Statement 2023 went on to make this permanent.


Who pays Corporation Tax?

Limited companies pay Corporation Tax on their profits, which they might make as a result of doing business, selling assets for more than they cost, or through investments. The director(s) must submit a Company Tax Return to declare the business’ profits, claim any tax relief, and pay the right amount of Corporation Tax.

Watch our video below to learn more about the basics of Corporation Tax.

2023/24 and 2024/25 Corporation Tax Rates

Corporation Tax was payable at a flat rate of 19% in 2022/23, but from 1st April 2023 the rate a company pays is adjusted based on how much profit it makes.


Limited company accountancy services

From only £54.50 per month

Learn more


When will I pay dividend tax?

If you own shares in a company then you may receive dividend payments from the company’s profits. These dividends are a source of income so you’ll need to pay tax on them.

You’ll normally pay dividend tax by submitting a Self Assessment tax return to report any untaxed income you receive.

Dividend tax is payable at a different rate to income tax, so if you’re a director in your own a limited company you might find it more tax efficient to pay yourself using a combination of dividends and a salary. You’ll pay income tax on the salary part of your income, and dividend tax on the dividends.

The income you receive from dividend payments isn’t subject to National Insurance (so you won’t pay NI on any dividends). If the total amount of dividend payments you receive in a tax year is more than the personal allowance (or if you’ve already used it up), you’ll still be able to claim an additional tax-free dividend allowance.

Dividend Allowance

The dividend allowance is the amount you can receive from dividends in a tax year before starting to pay tax on them. Once you go over it, you can deduct the allowance from the total amount of dividends you receive, and pay dividend tax on the amount that’s left.

The dividend allowance reduced by half in April 2023 and will do so again in April 2024, so you’ll pay tax on more of your dividend income. The dividend allowance for each year is:

Can I claim the dividend allowance as well as the Personal Allowance?

Yes! The good news is that you can use the dividend allowance as well as your personal tax allowance. For example, in 2023/24 you could take a salary of £12,570 and a dividend of £1,000 without incurring tax or National Insurance.

How much tax will I pay on dividends?

The rate of dividend tax you pay is based on what income tax band you’re in. You can work this out by adding the total amount of dividend income you receive to your other income (we explain tax bands and thresholds earlier in this article). Don’t forget to deduct your personal allowance and dividend allowance!

2023/24 and 2024/25 Dividend tax rates

The dividend tax rate which is payable on dividends over the allowance is the same in 2022/23, 2023/24, and in 2024/25.

Dividend Tax
Dividend Tax
Personal Allowance £0 – £12,570 0% £0 – £12,570 0%
Basic-rate tax payers £12,571 – £50,270 8.75% £12,571 – £50,270 8.75%
Higher-rate taxpayers £50,271 – £150,000 33.75% £50,271 – £125,140 33.75%
Additional-rate taxpayers £150,001 upwards 39.35% £125,140 upwards 39.35%

Our free online tax calculator will help you compare your take home pay as a sole trader versus as the director of a limited company, so you can work out the most tax-efficient structure for your business.

2023/24 VAT registration threshold

The VAT registration threshold in 2023/24 is £85,000. This means you must register for VAT once your taxable turnover reaches the threshold in any 12 month period. For some businesses it can be more tax efficient to register for VAT voluntarily rather than waiting for their turnover to reach the threshold (our article explains this in a bit more detail!)

Read our VAT Guide to learn more about registering, charging for, and reporting VAT.

UK VAT Rates

The rate of UK VAT that VAT registered businesses charge is based on the type of goods or services being supplied. The rates charged are the same for 2023/24 and 2024/25.

Rate Name VAT Rate
Standard rate: The rate of VAT which applies to most goods and services. 20%
Reduced rate: A lower rate which applies to certain goods and services, such as electricity and gas. 5%
Zero rate: Applies to some goods and services, such as food or children’s clothing. 0%


Tax is an incredibly complex subject, so it’s easy to get confused. Learn more about our online accountancy services and call 020 3355 4047, or get an instant online quote. Also be sure to check out our key tax year dates page.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

More posts by this author
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anshul Sharma
Anshul Sharma
14th August 2020 2:18 pm

Hi Admin

Self-Employed: How to calculate your tax?This comment is very useful for law purposeuk solicitor qredible

26th September 2022 10:17 pm

I cannot find any clarity on whether the threshold for National Insurance will revert to what it was when the 1.25% decrease comes into effect.

Sophia Decruse
Sophia Decruse
28th December 2023 7:28 am

Your tax guide came to my rescue! The way you break down rates, thresholds, and the Personal Allowance is exactly what I needed. Thanks for making the tax journey feel a lot less daunting!

New Reg
New Reg
9th January 2024 4:30 am

This UK tax guide is my go-to for untangling the tax mess. It’s like having a personal tax whisperer, breaking down everything from income tax to VAT. The sneak peek into 2024/25 is a game-changer. Thanks for making tax talk less of a headache! 🌟💸

Read more posts...

What is a Non-Established Taxable Person for VAT?

There are special VAT rules in place for online sellers who are classed as non-established taxable persons (NETPs), and use an online…

Read More

The Accountancy Partnership – Our Positive Reviews

Here at The Accountancy Partnership, we’re proud of our customer reviews The reviews we receive from our customers show how hard we…

Read More

What Type of Legal Structure Should I Choose When I Start a Business?

The structure that you choose when you start a business affects how the business operates, the amount of tax you pay, how…

Read More
Back to Blog...

Confirm Transactions

The number of monthly transactions you have entered based on your turnover seem high. A transaction is one bookkeeping entry such as a sale, purchase, payment or receipt. Are you sure this is correct?

Yes, submit my quote
No, let me change it

Please contact our sales team if you’re unsure

VAT Returns

It is unlikely you will need this service, unless you are voluntarily registered for VAT.

Are you sure this is correct?

Yes, the business is VAT registered
No, let me change it

Call us on 020 3355 4047 if you’re not sure.


You will receive our bookkeeping software Pandle for free, as part of your package.

You can use this to complete your own bookkeeping, or we can provide a quote to complete your bookkeeping for you.

Please select and option below:

I will do my own bookkeeping
I want you to do my bookkeeping

Call us on 020 3355 4047 if you’re not sure.