National Insurance for self-employed mums: Claiming back Class 2 contributions

This is the third in the incredibly popular series of posts by Frances Weir of bigbooklittlebookcardboardbox.co.uk. Frances and I are on a mission to help self-employed mums get the money they should be entitled to. It’s very easy to miss out on maternity allowance because you have a Small Earnings Exemption certificate – many mums aren’t aware of this until it’s too late. (For all the details see: Self-employed? Protect your right to maternity allowance). Over to Frances…

If you are self-employed and have followed the advice in Self-employed? Protect your right to maternity allowance, you will have opted to pay Class 2 contributions, rather than applying for a Small Earnings Exception Certificate (in order to ensure that in the event you have a baby, you get the maximum rate of maternity allowance).

If you

1)    have submitted your 2010-2011 tax return

2)    earned less than £5075 and

3)    you are not pregnant (so do not need to rely on the contributions to qualify for the enhanced maternity allowance)

you can now reclaim the Class 2 contributions you made. Simply fill in the form here stating you are claiming because your earnings for 2010-2011 have fallen below the contributions threshold and enclose your profit-loss account. Within a couple of months you should get a cheque from HMRC refunding the Class 2 contributions you have paid – approx. £125 for a full year.

You will continue to pay Class 2 contributions for the current year (unless you now choose to apply for a Small Earnings Exception Certificate).

Class 2 contributions entitle you to a number of benefits. Before reclaiming, please satisfy yourself (taking independent financial advice if needed) that you do not wish to maintain your eligibility for the other benefits provided by the contributions.

Frances Weir is mum to a toddler and runs bigbooklittlebookcardboardbox selling her portable children’s bookshelf to parents, childminders and independent book agents.

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