The National Logistics Academy

Apprenticeship levy

Guidance from HMRC on paying the apprenticeship levy:

When you need to pay it

As an employer, you’ll have to pay Apprenticeship Levy each month from 6 April 2017 if you:

Your annual pay bill is all payments to employees that are subject to employer Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions (NICs) such as wages, bonuses and commissions. You must include payments to:

How much you need to pay

Employers who aren’t connected to another company or charity will have an Apprenticeship Levy allowance of £15,000 each year. This means the Apprenticeship Levy you have to pay is reduced by £15,000 across the year. You can’t carry over any unused allowance into the next tax year.

If you start or stop being an employer part way through the tax year you can use your full annual Apprenticeship Levy allowance against the amount of the levy that you owe.

How to allocate your allowance

Your Apprenticeship Levy allowance of £15,000 can be allocated between:

  • all your PAYE schemes
  • your connected companies or charities

You can decide how to split the allowance between your PAYE schemes or with your connected companies or charities. You’ll need to report how you’ve allocated your allowance the first time you have to pay Apprenticeship Levy. You can’t change your share of the allowance during the tax year.

You must continue to apply the levy allowance that was allocated at the beginning of the tax year if, part way through the year:

  • you become a connected employer (such as by merging with or acquiring another company)
  • the structure of your group of connected companies or connected charities changes

You can decide how you allocate your levy allowance across your connected companies or charities at the start of the next tax year.

Public bodies each get a full Apprenticeship Levy allowance as they aren’t considered to be connected companies.

NHS trusts and other health service bodies (such as Scottish Health Boards, Welsh Local Health Boards or Irish Health and Social Care Trusts) are considered to be companies and therefore have to follow the connected companies rules.

Public bodies which are charities must follow the rules for connected charities.

Calculate what you owe

Apprenticeship Levy is charged at 0.5% of your annual pay bill.

You can use HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools to help you work out how much you need to pay.

For the first month of the tax year:

  1. Divide your Apprenticeship Levy allowance by 12.
  2. Subtract this figure from 0.5% of your monthly pay bill.

For each of the following months:

  1. Calculate your total pay bill for the year to date.
  2. Add up your monthly levy allowances for the year to date.
  3. Subtract your levy allowance for the year to date from 0.5% of your total pay bill for the year to date.
  4. Subtract the amount of the levy you’ve paid in the year to date.

If you begin paying the levy part way through the tax year, you’ll need to calculate how much of your annual allowance has been accumulated in the current year. Divide your full annual allowance by 12 and multiply by the number of months since the start of the tax year. This figure is your allowance for the first month you report the levy.

Any unused allowance can be carried forward into the next month within the same tax year.

Industry training levy contributions

You’ll still need to pay Apprenticeship Levy even if you already contribute to an industry-wide training levy arrangement, for example the Construction Industry Training Board Levy.

Report how much you owe

From 6 April 2017, you’ll need to tell HMRC how much Apprenticeship Levy you owe each month:

  • from the start of the tax year if:
    • your annual pay bill (including any connected companies or charities) in the previous tax year was more than £3 million
    • you think your annual pay bill (including any connected companies or charities) for the tax year will be more than £3 million
  • if your annual pay bill (including any connected companies or charities) unexpectedly increases to more than £3 million - start reporting when this happens

If you’ve started paying Apprenticeship Levy, you’ll need to continue reporting it until the end of the tax year even if your annual pay bill turns out to be less than £3 million.

Connected companies or charities will each need to tell HMRC how much Apprenticeship Levy they owe.

Report your Apprenticeship Levy each month using your Employer Payment Summary (EPS) and include the following:

  • the amount of the annual Apprenticeship Levy allowance you’ve allocated to that PAYE scheme
  • the amount of Apprenticeship Levy you owe to date in the current tax year

You don’t need to report Apprenticeship Levy on your EPS if you haven’t had to pay it in the current tax year.

Record keeping

You must keep records for at least 3 years after the tax year they relate to.

Changes to your pay bill

Report any changes to the Apprenticeship Levy as a result of changes to your pay bill on your next EPS.

If you find errors in your total annual pay bill at the end of the tax year, you must submit an extra EPS with the correct Apprenticeship Levy for the full tax year and pay what you owe.

Employers with modified PAYE schemes

If you run a modified PAYE scheme you’ll need to account for NICs as usual. Use a best estimate of all earnings that are subject to Class 1 secondary NICsto check if you need to pay the Apprenticeship Levy. You’ll need to submit an EPS each month using these estimated figures.

At the end of the tax year, you’ll also need to:

  • check your estimated pay bill against the actual figures for the tax year
  • submit an additional EPS to correct any difference and pay any Apprenticeship Levy owed

How to pay

You’ll need to pay the Apprenticeship Levy each month through the PAYEprocess in the same way you pay Income Tax or National Insurance contributions.

If you’ve overpaid Apprenticeship Levy during the year, you’ll receive a refund as a PAYE credit.

Apprenticeship Levy payments are a deductible expense for Corporation Tax.

Apprenticeship Levy for schools

For maintained schools, the local authority is the employer. Each local authority has an annual allowance of £15,000.

For voluntary-aided schools, foundation schools and academies, the governing body is the employer. Each governing body will be entitled to an allowance of £15,000.

Multi-academy trusts will get a single annual allowance of £15,000.

If a school becomes an academy part way through a tax year, the academy’s governing body will be responsible for the Apprenticeship Levy from this point and get a full allowance of £15,000.


Contact HMRC if you have any questions about Apprenticeship Levy.