National Insurance for company directors – changes to guidance on going to, or coming from, abroad

04 November 2021

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has updated its company director National Insurance (NI) guidance for 2021-22. The guidance now differentiates between countries that we have a social security agreement with, and those that we do not.

Below are the updated sections within the guidance:

Director goes to work abroad In a country that the UK has a social security agreement with

The general rule is that a director will pay contributions to the social security scheme of the country in which they are working, unless they are entitled to, and hold a certificate issued by HMRC.

The certificate will exempt the director from having to pay social security contributions in the other country.

For more information about directors leaving the UK to work in:

• the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/national-insurance-for-workers-from-the-uk-working-in-the-eea-or-switzerland

• another country with which the UK has a social security agreement, go to www.gov.uk/national-insurance-if-you-go-abroad

In a country that the UK does not have a social security agreement with

If:

• the employer has a place of business in the UK

• the director is ordinarily resident in the UK

• immediately before the start of the employment abroad the director was resident in the UK

the director will be liable for UK NI contributions (NICs) for the first 52 weeks of the employment abroad.

For more information go to

www.gov.uk/national-insurance-if-you-go-abroad

Director comes to work in the UK From a country that the UK has a social security agreement with

The general rule is that a director will be liable to pay UK NICs unless they are entitled to, and hold a certificate issued by the social security authority in the country from which the director has come.

The certificate will exempt the director from having to pay UK NICs.

For more information about directors coming to the UK from:

• the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, go to

www.gov.uk/guidance/social-security-contributions-for-workers-coming-to-the-uk-from-the-eea-or-switzerland

• another country with which the UK has a social security agreement, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/new-employee-coming-to-work-from-abroad

From a country that the UK does not have a social security agreement with

The general rule is that a director will be liable to pay UK NICs unless all the following apply:

• they are not ordinarily resident in the UK

• they normally work outside the UK for a foreign employer

• they are sent to work in the UK by that foreign employer

• when in the UK they continue to work for that employer (even if their foreign employer has a place of business in the UK)

then the director will not be liable for UK NICs for the first 52 weeks of their employment in the UK.

Directors not covered by the above may still be exempt from paying UK NICs. Read the table headed ‘Special concession’ below

Special concession

A director, who is neither resident nor ordinarily resident in the UK:

• comes to the UK from a country with which the UK does not have a social security agreement

• the only work the director does in the UK is to attend board meetings

We’ll not seek payment of UK NICs if:

• they attend no more than 10 board meetings in a tax year and each visit to the UK during which a board meeting takes place lasts no more than 2 nights

• there is only 1 board meeting in a tax year and the visit to the UK during which that board meeting takes place lasts no more than 2 weeks

If the director’s attendance for board meetings does not fit the criteria above, the special concession will not apply


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