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Should you be paying national insurance while working abroad?


Published: 20 Sep 2023 Update History

HMRC has launched a new tool for people to check whether they should be paying national insurance contributions (NIC) while they are working abroad.

Typically, individuals relocating abroad permanently will stop paying NIC in the UK and pay social security (or the domestic equivalent) in their new country of residence. There is the option to pay voluntary class 3 NIC while abroad to qualify for the UK state pension in the future.  

If people relocate abroad temporarily for work, they may continue to pay NIC in the UK, depending on the length of time that they are working abroad and the country to which they are relocating.  

HMRC’s new interactive guidance tool helps taxpayers and agents to know whether they should pay NIC while they are abroad. If the worker should continue to make NIC, they may need to apply for and obtain a certificate confirming that they pay social security in the UK. In the absence of a certificate, domestic social security may be applied by the overseas jurisdiction. 

Social security, especially for temporary non-residents, can be a complex area. Individuals may need to obtain further advice.  

ICAEW’s Tax Faculty has received feedback that agents are experiencing delays in obtaining A1 certificates (confirming in which country a multistate worker pays social security contributions). The faculty encourages agents to bring such issues to HMRC’s attention by posting on the agent forum

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