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On 04 August 2020, HMRC published their National Insurance Contributions Guidance for Software Developers for the tax year 2020/21.  These are described as ‘Technical specifications giving National Insurance calculation methods and guidance for payroll software developers’.

The guidance covers the following, as they do every year when they are issued:

  • NICs information for tax year to which they are relevant (i.e. starting 06 April 2020)
  • Completing the payroll record (2020 / 21)
  • Description of the differences between calculating NICs using the tables and the exact percentage method
  • Rules for rounding
  • NICs calculation formulae (exact percentage method)
  • Directors NICs calculation formulae, and
  • NICs calculation formulae (tables method)

Two appendices include information about the current rates and thresholds (appendix 1) and a lot of worked examples in appendix 2.


The main difference, apart from the changing rates and thresholds, is the addition of a section on Class 1A NICs on Termination Awards and Sporting Testimonial payments.

Another difference is the timing of publication.  This is usually made available to software developers before the start of the tax year, not 5 months into the tax year.

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