HMRC giving taxpayers extended deadline for voluntary NI contributions

HMRC has extended the deadline for taxpayers wishing to make voluntary national insurance contributions going back to April 2006. The deadline has now been extended from 5 April 2023 to 31 July 2023.

In order to qualify for the full state pension (£185.15 a week), you will need to show a 35-year record of National Insurance contributions. In order to fulfil those 35 years, you can pay in voluntary National Insurance contributions to fill in any gaps in the record, due to being out of employment, maternity leave etc. Under normal circumstances, you are able to cash in any gaps in the last 6 years. Nevertheless, for a limited period, the government is permitting taxpayers, to fill gaps in another 10 years prior to that, going as far back as April 2006. These changes come after an overwhelming number of taxpayers voiced concern to HMRC and HM Treasury.

The voluntary NI rates for the 2022/23 tax year of £15.85 per week will apply for any payments made between the 6 April and 31 July 2023. From the 1 August 2023 onwards, the 6-year timeframe will be reinstated, meaning it will only be possible to make contributions going back to 2017/18. Contributions made after the deadline will also be subject to higher NI Rates namely £17.45 per week. However, please note depending on your employment status and residency, these rates may differ.

In order to reap the benefits from the deadline, there are a number of steps that HMRC recommends for taxpayers. These are:

  • Checking their National Insurance record via the HMRC app or their Personal Tax Account
  • Contacting HMRC if there are any errors
  • Obtaining a State Pension forecast
  • Deciding whether making a voluntary National Insurance contribution is worthwhile for them and their pension
  • Reading the guide on making a payment, on GOV.UK.

This will allow many taxpayers who have incomplete years in their NI record to bolster their pension, and make themselves better off financially during retirement.

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