how to calculate paye on salary

How to Calculate PAYE on Salary

Welcome to our guide on how to calculate PAYE on salary. If you’re an employee or an employer in the United Kingdom, it’s essential to understand how the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system works. PAYE is the system that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) uses to collect income tax and National Insurance contributions from employees’ salaries. In this article, we’ll explain the basics of PAYE and walk you through the steps to calculate your PAYE on salary. Let’s get started!

Understanding PAYE

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) is the method through which employers deduct income tax and National Insurance contributions directly from their employees’ salaries or wages. It ensures that individuals meet their tax obligations in a convenient and efficient manner. Employers deduct the appropriate amount of income tax and National Insurance contributions from each employee’s pay and then submit that amount to HMRC on their behalf. Ultimately, PAYE ensures that tax is paid throughout the year and helps individuals avoid a lump-sum tax bill at the end of the tax year.

how to calculate paye on salary

Calculating PAYE on Salary

To calculate PAYE on salary, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Determine the Tax Year

The tax year in the United Kingdom starts on April 6th and ends on April 5th of the following year. Make sure you know the specific tax year you are calculating PAYE for, as tax rates and allowances can change from year to year.

Step 2: Obtain the Employee’s Tax Code

Every employee in the UK has a tax code issued by HMRC. The tax code determines the amount of tax-free income an employee is entitled to in each pay period. It’s important to obtain the tax code for the employee you are calculating PAYE for. The tax code is usually provided by the employee or can be obtained through HMRC’s online services.

Step 3: Calculate Gross Salary

Next, you need to determine the employee’s gross salary. The gross salary includes all taxable elements of the employee’s pay, such as their basic salary, bonuses, overtime, and any other taxable benefits they receive.

Step 4: Calculate Taxable Income

Once you have the gross salary, you need to subtract any allowances and deductions applicable to the employee’s tax code. Common allowances include the personal allowance and other allowances based on the employee’s circumstances. Deductions may include contributions to pension schemes or employment-related expenses.

Step 5: Determine the Applicable Tax Rate

Based on the taxable income calculated in the previous step, you need to determine the tax rate that applies to that income. In the UK, different tax rates and bands exist depending on the level of income. It’s essential to use the correct tax rate to ensure accurate calculations.

Step 6: Calculate Income Tax

Using the applicable tax rate and the taxable income, calculate the income tax owed by the employee for the specific tax year. This will be the amount to be deducted from the employee’s salary on each pay period.

Step 7: Calculate National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

In addition to income tax, employers also deduct National Insurance contributions from employees’ salaries. NICs are calculated based on the employee’s gross salary. The rates and thresholds for National Insurance contributions can change from year to year, so make sure to use the correct rates applicable to the tax year you are calculating PAYE for.

Step 8: Deduct Income Tax and NICs

Now that you have calculated the income tax and National Insurance contributions, deduct those amounts from the employee’s gross salary. The remaining amount is the net salary that the employee will receive.


Calculating PAYE on salary is crucial for both employees and employers in the UK. Understanding how PAYE works and how to calculate it ensures compliance with tax regulations, avoids penalties, and ensures accurate payment of tax throughout the year. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to calculate PAYE on salary accurately and efficiently. Remember to stay up to date with any changes in tax rates and thresholds for each tax year. If you have any specific questions or encounter more complex scenarios, consult HMRC’s guidance or seek professional advice.

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