Tax on 2nd Jobs

tax on 2nd jobs
If you find yourself juggling two jobs in the UK, it’s important to understand the implications of tax on 2nd jobs. From navigating tax codes to ensuring you’re not overpaying or underpaying, this article aims to provide a clear and accessible guide to help you better understand the complexities of tax on 2nd jobs. Whether you’re a freelancer, a part-time worker, or someone who simply wants to make the most of their skills and passions, this article will help you navigate the tax implications of having multiple jobs in the UK with ease and confidence.

Tax Basics for Individuals in the UK

Tax is an essential part of being a working individual in the UK. It is important to understand the basics and implications of income tax and national insurance contributions. These two components play a significant role in determining the amount of tax you need to pay to the government.

Income Tax

Income tax is the tax you pay on your earnings from employment, self-employment, pensions, and savings. The amount of income tax you pay is based on your total income for the tax year (which typically runs from April 6th to April 5th the following year) and your personal allowance.

National Insurance Contributions

In addition to income tax, individuals in the UK are also required to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs). These contributions are used to fund certain social security benefits and the state pension. The amount of NICs you pay is dependent on your earnings and age category.

Understanding the Implications of Tax on 2nd Jobs

Working multiple jobs can have different tax implications compared to having a single job. It is important to understand how tax codes, personal allowances, and higher rate tax apply to individuals with multiple jobs.

Defining Multiple Jobs

Multiple jobs are defined as having more than one source of income from employment. This could be due to working part-time jobs or having one full time job and a part time job.

Tax Codes and Multiple Jobs

Tax codes play a crucial role in determining how much tax is deducted from your income. When you have a 2nd job, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) applies special tax codes to each job to ensure that the correct amount of tax is deducted. It is essential to check your tax codes to ensure they are accurate for each job.

Paying Tax on 2nd Jobs

Each of your employers deducts tax from your earnings using the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system. However, it is possible that you could end up underpaying or overpaying tax due to the complexities of having a 2nd job. It is important to understand how to calculate tax correctly to avoid any underpayment issues.

Calculating Tax on 2 Jobs

Calculating tax on 2nd jobs involves understanding the different components that contribute to your overall tax liability.

Total Income Calculation

First, you need to calculate your total income by adding up the earnings from all your jobs. This includes your employment income, self-employment income, pensions, and any other taxable income you may have.

Personal Allowance

The personal allowance is the amount of income you can earn before you start paying income tax. However, when you have multiple jobs, your personal allowance is only applied to one job, usually your main or highest-paying job. Additional jobs will have their tax calculated without incorporating a personal allowance.

Tax on Second Job

When you have multiple jobs, your second and subsequent jobs are often taxed at the basic rate or higher rate from the beginning. This is because your personal allowance is already being utilized by your main job. It is important to be aware of this when considering taking on additional employment.

Higher Rate Tax

If your total income from all jobs exceeds the higher rate tax threshold, you may be liable to pay tax at the higher or additional rate. This means that part of your income will be taxed at a higher percentage. It is necessary to take this into account and plan your finances accordingly.

National Insurance Contributions

National Insurance contributions are calculated separately for each employment or self-employment. However, you cannot duplicate contributions on the same income. Your NICs may vary based on the income thresholds for each employment or self-employment role.

Tax Codes and two Jobs

Understanding how tax codes work is crucial when you have two jobs. They determine how much tax is deducted from your income and can have an impact on your overall tax liability.

Tax Code Basics

Tax codes are alphanumeric codes used by HMRC to inform your employer or clients of how much tax to deduct from your earnings. They are based on various factors, such as your personal allowance, any adjustments due to other sources of income, and specific tax circumstances.

Emergency Tax Codes

If you start a new job or have multiple jobs without a tax code, you may be placed on an emergency tax code. This means that a higher amount of tax will be deducted from your earnings until your correct tax code is issued. It is important to notify HMRC about your multiple jobs to avoid emergency tax codes.

Changing Tax Codes

Your tax codes can change throughout the tax year if there are adjustments to your personal allowance, tax band thresholds, or any other relevant factors. It is important to check your tax codes regularly and notify HMRC if any changes need to be made.

Splitting Personal Allowance

In some cases, you may be able to split your personal allowance between multiple jobs or employments, which can help reduce your overall tax liability. However, this is subject to certain criteria and should be discussed with HMRC or a tax professional.

Paying Tax on 2nd Jobs

Understanding how tax is paid when you have two jobs is essential to ensure that you comply with your tax obligations.

PAYE (Pay As You Earn) System

The PAYE system is used by employers to deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from employees’ salaries. When you have two jobs, each employer will deduct tax from your earnings based on your tax code. It is important to review your payslips and P60s to ensure that the correct tax has been deducted.


If you are self-employed or have income from self-employment, you may need to complete a self-assessment tax return. This is required to report your income, expenses, and calculate the amount of tax you owe. It is important to stay organized and keep track of your self-employed income and expenses to accurately complete your self-assessment.

Underpayments and Overpayments

Having two jobs can increase the likelihood of underpaying or overpaying tax. Underpayments occur when the correct amount of tax has not been deducted, resulting in a balance owed to HMRC. Overpayments occur when you have paid more tax than necessary, entitling you to a refund. It is important to regularly review your tax liability to avoid any surprises.

Claiming Tax Overpayments

If you have overpaid tax, you can claim a refund from HMRC. Understanding the process and requirements for claiming tax overpayments is important to ensure that you receive the refund you are entitled to.

Submitting a Claim

To claim a tax refund, you generally need to submit a claim to HMRC. This can be done online, by phone, or through the post. You will need to provide relevant information, such as your National Insurance number, details of your employment or self-employment, and evidence of overpayment.

Claiming through Self-Assessment

If you complete a self-assessment tax return, you will need to claim tax overpayments through this process. This can simplify the process and ensure that all relevant information is included in one place.

Getting a Tax Refund

Once your claim has been processed and approved by HMRC, you will receive a tax refund either by bank transfer or as a cheque. It is important to keep track of any refunds received and review your tax affairs regularly to ensure accuracy.

Additional Considerations for Tax on Two Jobs

In addition to understanding the implications of tax on 2nd jobs, there are other factors to consider when working multiple jobs in the UK.

Additional Employment Benefits

If you have a 2nd job, you may be eligible for benefits such as workplace pensions, sick pay, or employee discounts. It is important to understand the benefits provided by each employer and make the most of them.

Pension Contributions

If you have a 2nd job, you may have different pension schemes and contribution rates. It is important to review your pension arrangements and ensure that you are contributing enough to meet your retirement goals.

Tax Relief for Expenses

When you have two jobs, you may incur additional expenses related to your work. It is important to understand the rules around claiming tax relief for these expenses and keep accurate records of any expenses incurred.

Student Loan Repayments

If you have two jobs and have a student loan, your repayments may be affected. The amount you repay each month depends on your total income across all your jobs. It is important to notify the Student Loans Company about your multiple jobs to ensure accurate repayment calculations.

Universal Credit

If you are receiving Universal Credit and have a 2nd job, your earnings from each job will be taken into account when calculating your overall entitlement. It is important to report your earnings accurately to avoid any potential overpayments or underpayments.

Professional Advice and Resources

Navigating the complexities of tax on 2nd jobs can be daunting. It is advisable to seek professional advice or consult HMRC’s guidance to ensure that you understand your responsibilities and make the correct decisions.

HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) Guidance

HMRC provides comprehensive guidance on various tax topics, including information specific to tax on 2nd jobs. Their website offers resources, calculators, and publications that can help you understand your tax obligations and rights.

Seeking Professional Advice

If you have specific or complex circumstances, it may be beneficial to consult a tax professional or an accountant who can provide tailored advice based on your situation. They can help ensure that you are compliant with tax laws, maximize your deductions, and minimize your tax liabilities.


Understanding the tax implications of having multiple jobs in the UK is crucial for managing your finances effectively and making sure that you are paying the right amount of tax. By learning about income tax, national insurance contributions, tax codes, and payment processes, you can navigate the complexities and make better decisions. Whether you work two jobs or are self-employed, staying organized, seeking professional advice when necessary, and staying up to date with HMRC guidance will help you manage your tax responsibilities and maximize your financial well-being.

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