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Directors' NICs

There are two possible methods of calculating Director's NIC:

  • Annual Basis

  • Pro-Rata Basis (Alternate Basis)


HMRC guidelines advise that the Annual Basis is the preferred method for calculating Directors' NIC - that is:

  • calculate NIC's on the total earnings paid to the director each time a payment is made

  • deduct the NIC's already paid, if any, to arrive at the amount of NIC's now due


Under the Pro-Rata Basis (Alternate Basis), on the final payment in month 12, the entire NIC's are to be recalculated on total earnings in month 12 and a manual adjustment made in that remittance. HMRC guidelines state that this method can lead to disproportionate amounts of NIC being payable at year end.


BrightPay facilitates both of these calculation methods. The user desired method of calculating NI must be indicated at the first pay period for the Director and cannot be changed thereafter.


Annual Basis

The Annual Basis assigns the NI thresholds of LEL, PT, ST and UEL on an annual/ cumulative basis.

This means that in week one, the thresholds assigned to the calculation of the NI for that week will be:

LEL £5,876

PT £8,164

ST £8,164

UEL £45,000


The annual thresholds are assigned in total and the NI is calculated on a constant cumulative basis.

This method differs to the normal calculation of NI for a non-director employee which, in week one, would only assign the weekly thresholds of:


LEL  £113

PT  £157

ST  £157

UEL  £866


Pro-Rata Basis

This method differs to the Annual Basis in that it assigns the periodic LEL, PT, ST and UEL to each periodic wage/ salary in the same manner as the NI calculation for a non-Director employee. Therefore on a weekly basis,  the following NI thresholds are assigned:


LEL  £113

ST  £157

PT  £157

UEL  £866


This alternative method is only recommended when a Director's periodic salary will consistently exceed the equivalent periodic UEL in each pay period AND ONLY where the Director will be paid for the entire tax year as a Director.

Due to the different application of the NI thresholds under both Director NI calculations, it is not possible to switch between the two calculation methods during the tax year.

Please refer to the HMRC guideline booklet CA44 for further information


Applying the Pro-Rata Basis in BrightPay

By default, BrightPay will automatically apply the Annual Basis for NIC calculation for Directors, as this is the preferred method of calculation by HMRC. The pro-rata version is only recommended when a Director's periodic salary will consistently exceed the equivalent periodic UEL in each pay period AND ONLY where the Director will be paid for the entire tax year as a Director.


To apply the pro-rata basis, click Employees:

1) Select the Director from the employee listing

2) Within their record, select the Tax/ NICs/RTI heading

3) Under the National Insurance Number, tick to indicate that the employee is a director

4) For Director's National Insurance, tick to 'Use alternate method for calculating directors' NICs'

5) Click Save Changes


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