Working part time and paying tax – a student’s guide

Am I paying the right amount of tax?

Everything you earn, whether from employment or self-employment, is liable to UK taxation if your earn more than £11,850 in a ‘tax year’ (April – April). The system works well for those who earn the same amount regularly but it can be more complex for students who have more than one job at a time, move frequently between jobs, do work via an agency, get a paid placement or take on an extra job during vacations.

If you leave a job part way through the tax year or have more than one job at a time, you may end up paying too much tax which you can claim back from HMRC later. Check how to claim a tax refund.

If you have 2 jobs, the tax threshold is normally only applied to one of the jobs, so your second job may be taxed, even if the total amount earned during the tax year is lower than the tax threshold. You can claim back a tax refund at the end of the tax year, although this might be inconvenient if you need that money sooner.

However, you can ask the tax office to split your tax free allowance across both jobs so that you don’t have to pay tax at all if you earn under the threshold through both jobs.

You can work out how much you are likely to earn through each of your jobs and ask the tax office to split the allowance appropriately – so if you think you will earn around £8000 from one job and only £1200 from the other, you can for example ask them to allocate £10000 of allowance to the first job and £1850 to the other job. You can contact them by phone on 0300 200 3300 (you will need your National Insurance Number when you phone).  It might be best to phone them in the morning, otherwise waiting times can be long.

The Tax Guide for Students website gives really helpful information and advice about this and other more general tax information for students.

Looking for part time work?

Within our Careers advice at Brighton, we have a Jobs and Placements Service where you can look for employment opportunities whilst you study and once you have graduated.

If you are looking for part time work to help boost your income and add to your employability portfolio, this is a great place to start. You can find help and advice for applications forms, CVs and interview technique.

We also advertise vacancies in the local community and beyond, so don’t miss out when that opportunity of a lifetime drops.

How does working part time affect student finance?

In short, it doesn’t. If you have been income assessed for student finance, any income from part time work is not taken into account.

Student Advice Service

Helen is the Student Advice Service Manager within Student Services and is based in Tithe Barn on the Moulsecoomb campus

Posted in Jobs and opportunities

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