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Payroll Tax Year Changes 2018/2019

As an employer, it’s important to stay on top of all the changes that come into effect every April. We’ve put together a summary of the key fact and figures.

Auto Enrolment increases (phasing)

On 6 April 2018, minimum Auto Enrolment contributions will increase. At the moment both employers and employees need to contribute at least 1% (making a total of 2%) to qualify for the scheme. This will rise to a minimum of 2% to be paid by employers and 3% by employees, making a total of 5%. A further increase will take place from 6 April 2019.

QuickBooks Online will automatic uplift the minimum contribution, QuickBooks Desktop users will have to make sure they change the contribution before running the first period in 2018/9.

Dates Minimum employer contribution Minimum employee contribution Total minimum contribution
Before 5 April 2018 1% 1% 2%
6/4/2018–5/4/2019 2% 3% 5%
From 6 April 2019 3% 5% 8%

Auto Enrolment thresholds 2018/2019
The upper and lower limits for Auto Enrolment are increasing in line with National Insurance thresholds. The earnings trigger remains the same.


Weekly 2 Weekly 4 Weekly Monthly Quarterly Half Yearly Annual
Lower level of qualifying earnings £116.00 £232.00 £464.00 £503.00 £1508.00 £3016.00 £6032.00
Earnings trigger for Auto Enrolment £192.00 £384.00 £768.00 £833.00 £2499.00 £4998.00 £10000.00
Upper level of qualifying earnings £892.00 £1783.00 £3566.00 £3863.00 £11588.00 £23175.00 £46350.00

Personal Tax Allowance and tax codes

Across the UK, the Personal Tax Allowance for 2018/19 is £11,850.

If you are using QuickBooks Online, the tax codes will automatically uplift if you have any employees with an L, M & N suffix.  If you are using QuickBooks Desktop, this will need to be completed manually.

•The emergency tax code is now 1185L wk1/mnth1

•L suffix codes will increase by 35 (e.g. 1150L become 1185L).

•M suffix codes will increase by 39 (e.g. 1265M becomes 1304M).

•N suffix codes will increase by 31. (e.g. 1035N become 1066N).

National Insurance

There are no changes to National Insurance rates (%) or Employment Allowance, but the thresholds will be raised.

New weekly thresholds

•The Lower Earnings Limit has increased from £113 to £116

•The Primary Threshold has increased from £157 to £162

•The Secondary Threshold has increased from £157 to £162

•The Upper Earning Limit, Upper Secondary Threshold and Apprentice Upper Secondary Threshold have increased from £866 to £892

New monthly thresholds

•The Lower Earnings Limit has increased from £490 to £503

•The Primary Threshold has increased from £680 to £702

•The Secondary Threshold has increased from £680 to £702

• The Upper Earning Limit /Upper Secondary Threshold /Apprentice Upper Secondary Threshold – From £3,750 to £3863

Statutory Payments

  • Statutory Sick Pay rises from £89.35 to £92.05 per week.
  • Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay rises £140.98 to £145.18 per week.

There are no changes to the amount employers can recover.

Student Loans
The Government has increased Student Loan repayment thresholds for 2018-19. Both loans are deducted at 9%:

Student Loans 2018/2019 2017/2018 Change
Plan 1  £18,330 £17,775 Increase of £555
Plan 2 £25,000 £21,000 Increase of £4,000

 These figures will apply to all current and future borrowers that employers make Student Loan deductions for.

Scottish Rates of Income Tax 2018/2019
The Scottish Government are introducing two new tax codes and changing the thresholds for two other rates:

Tax rate Tax Code Percentage Threshold
Starter rate (new) Not required 19% £11,850–13,850
Basic rate SBR 20% £13,851–24,000 (change)
Intermediate rate (new) SD0 21% £24,001-43,430
Higher rate SD1 41% (change) £43,431–150,000 (change)
Top rate SD2 (new) 46% (change) £150,001 and above