Economically Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and is generally governed by the same law and taxations. Every-day goods and services are on a par with much of Western Europe but the tax rate here is generally more favourable, so your salary goes further. Check out how our prices for everyday items compare by clicking here.
Despite being a member of the European Union, the United Kingdom has not adopted the euro. We use UK currency - the pound sterling (£ / GBP). There are 100 pence (p) to the pound (£), notes come in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50. Many Northern Ireland banks produce their own notes so there are a variety of sizes and colours in use as well as standard Bank of England notes. Coins come in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. People say “pee” rather than pence, as in 50p (50 pee) and a pound is sometimes called a “quid”, a five pound note a “fiver” and a ten pound note a “tenner”.
You may need to open a United Kingdom or Northern Ireland bank account as your employers will pay your salary directly into your chosen bank account and you could be charged for transactions and cash withdrawals at ATM’s if using a foreign bank account here. There are many local NI, UK and On-Line banks operating here that offer various services and rates so it's worthwhile taking a look at the options before deciding which best suits your needs.
As an employee here you will pay National Insurance (NI) contributions and Income Tax on your earnings through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. National Insurance contributions are payable if you earn more than £155 a week, the amount you pay is 12% of your earnings above that limit. You can earn an amount of tax free income each year, this is called your Personal Allowance, in general, everyone gets the same Personal Allowance, for 2016-17 it is £11,000. If you receive benefits from your employer like a company car or health insurance and these are part of your remuneration package you may have to pay tax on their value.
Your employer will calculate the contributions for National Insurance and Income Tax based on your gross salary, the payments are spread equally across each tax year (April to April) and deducted from your monthly salary. The deductions will be itemised on your Pay Slip and there will also be an accumulative total showing what you have paid to date during the current tax year, your employer also pays a National Insurance contribution based on your earnings. Employers pay the employee and employer NI contributions and income tax directly to HM Revenue and Customs on a monthly basis. At the end of each tax year your employer will provide you with a summary showing what NI contributions and tax have been on your behalf, this is called a form P60. This is an important document and should be stored safely so that you will always have a record of the payments that have been made by you.