If you live in Northern Ireland and want to work here you need a ביטוח לאומי טלפון number. The format is two prefix letters followed by six digits plus a suffix letter.
Your NI number is on your payslips, P60s and tax returns. It’s also on official letters about tax or benefits.
Your National Insurance number is important to have because it identifies you in the system. It also ensures that the taxes or National Insurance contributions you pay are linked to your record. It’s also important to know how to find your NI number in case you ever need to contact HMRC. There are four main ways to do this: requesting your NI number be sent to you by post, calling the National Insurance helpline, or sifting through old documents.
You should be sent your NI number when you first start work or before you’re 16 (you may receive a temporary number called a TRN instead if there is an issue with your NI number). It can be found on payslips, P60s and letters about tax, pensions and benefits. You can also find it online in your Personal Tax Account or by downloading the HMRC app.
If you don’t have a Personal Tax Account or the HMRC app you can call the National Insurance helpline on 0345 600 0400. This is a dedicated helpline that deals solely with issues surrounding National Insurance numbers. However, they will not give you your NI number over the phone due to security reasons and they will arrange for a letter to be posted to you instead. This can take up to 15 days to arrive and isn’t the most convenient method.
How to find it
There are various methods for finding your NI number, from checking online platforms to sifting through old documents. However, the best and quickest way to find your NI number is by logging in to your Personal Tax Account. This can be done by entering your Government Gateway user ID or using a mobile app that is compatible with the system. Once logged in, you will be able to view all of your tax-related information, including your NI number.
Your NI number should be displayed on your payslip and P60, and you should also have it recorded on any official paperwork such as your passport or driving licence. It is a unique code that keeps a record of your National Insurance contributions, which over your working life can lead to benefits such as a state pension.
You will usually be sent your NI number just before your 16th birthday, or when you start work in the UK for the first time. The NI number is made up of two letters, six digits, and then a letter at the end (for example, QQ 12 34 56 C). If you have a NI number beginning with TN, this is a temporary number issued to those seconded into the UK from another country. The Department for Work and Pensions in England, Scotland and Wales issues NI numbers, while the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland does so for those living there.
What to do if you don’t have it
If you have lost your NI number, you can get it back by completing an online form on the HMRC website. You’ll need to provide proof of identity and a copy of your passport or driving licence. It can take up to 15 days to get a letter with your NI number in the post.
You can also check your NI number using your personal tax account or the HMRC app. You’ll need to be able to prove your identity first, so you may have to answer some questions or send digital photos of yourself and your ID documents. Your NI number will appear on many of the documents you receive from HMRC, such as payslips or P60s. It can also be found on letters about tax, benefits and pensions.
It’s important to know your NI number, as it keeps a record of your National Insurance contributions over your working life. These can entitle you to benefits and a state pension. You’ll only ever be issued with one NI number, so you should keep it safe. You’ll need it if you want to work or apply for things like a bank account or ISA savings account, and some employers will ask for it before hiring you.
How to contact HMRC
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is very particular about how it communicates with people. It’s split into several different departments each dealing with a specific area of the tax system. Each has its own set of communications methods and specialist advisors for each area.
When calling HMRC, you will be asked to say your name and what your query is and then your options for help are outlined on the screen. If you have trouble speaking clearly, or have a speech or hearing impairment, you can use the phone service to speak to a trained interpreter or translater. You can also ask for a Braille or electronic transcript of the call.
The phone lines are very busy at times of the year, especially around the time of self-assessment. Callers are currently waiting on average for 12.5 minutes to talk to an adviser – that’s about a minute and a half longer than last year.
If you’re in a hurry, you can try HMRC’s webchat option. The website lists when advisors are available and there is a handy chatbot that can help with simple queries. You can also check your queue position and the estimated wait time from a screen that shows up during your conversation. Be aware that advisors on webchat cannot discuss pay as you earn, self-assessment, VAT, tax credits or child benefit with you, but they will be able to help you get online and find information.