An individual who was not the subject of a child benefit claim in the UK won’t be issued with a UK national insurance number just before they reach 16. This will cause the individual all sorts of problems when they are an adult.
People without an NI number need to apply to the DWP to request the issue of an NI number before they can work, receive a company pension, or claim benefits. This application can now be done online, but only if the individual already has documents to prove their identity. The DWP has also resumed face to face interviews for NI applications.
Whether the NI number application is done online or in person it can still take 16 weeks for the DWP to issue an NI number. This delay will in turn delay the payment of any universal credit claimed, make it difficult to register for self-employment, or receive relief at source for pension contributions.
HMRC seem to believe the NI number issue is solved as it is advising taxpayers to revert to using the form CWF1 to register as self employed, which needs an NI number. During the pandemic HMRC suggested that form SA1 should be used instead, which would only register the person for self-assessment, not for self-employment. If our clients registered with HMRC using only form SA1, they now need to contact the National Insurance helpline to arrange for payment of class 2 NIC.
Written by the Tax Advice Network