Is Job Seekers Allowance Taxable?

If you are wondering whether or not the financial support you receive through your Jobseekers Allowance is taxable or not, you will find the answer to your question in this article; as we explore whether Job Seeker’s Allowance is taxable in the UK and provide a clear understanding of the tax rules associated with this benefit.

Is Job Seekers Allowance Taxable?

Yes, Jobseekers Allowance is a taxable benefit. However, there are certain conditions that apply to the application of tax on the amount of JSA you claim. These are as follows:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance is a taxable state benefit; regardless of whether someone claims income-based JSA or contribution-based JSA.
  • The principal amount of JSA is taxable and premiums such as top-ups for child support are not taxable.

That said, the amount of tax due on your JSA payments depends on the following factors:

  • the amount you receive 
  • the taxable maximum; which is based on whether you receive JSA as a single person or a couple

However, it’s essential to consider the tax-free personal allowance, which is the amount of income an individual can earn each tax year before they start paying income tax. 

As of the current tax year (2023/2024), the tax-free personal allowance in the UK is £12,570. If an individual’s total income, including JSA, is below this threshold, they will not be liable to pay income tax on their JSA.

This means that if an individual’s income, including JSA, exceeds the tax-free personal allowance, they will be required to pay income tax on the amount that exceeds the threshold. The tax rate will depend on their total income and the tax bands they fall into. 

In addition to this, now that income-based JSA has been replaced with Universal Credit, there is no tax due on these payments as Universal Credit is a tax-free state benefit.

Therefore, new claimants can only apply for New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance (this has replaced contribution-based JSA). Whether or not your New Stule JSA payments are taxable, will depend on your individual circumstances.

How Is JSA Reported For Tax?

To ensure compliance with tax regulations, individuals receiving income-based JSA are required to report the benefit as part of their annual income when completing their self-assessment tax return. 

This includes providing accurate details of the JSA received during the tax year.

It is important to note that income-based JSA is paid at gross, meaning tax is not automatically deducted at the source. 

Therefore, the individual’s responsible for reporting their JSA as part of their overall income when completing their annual tax return.

Another point of consideration is that the DWP also provides individuals with an annual statement showing the total amount of JSA received. This statement can be used as a reference when completing the tax return to ensure accurate reporting.

Can You Claim JSA And Be Exempt From Tax?

Yes, in certain situations, your JSA payments (either in part or whole) may be exempt from tax. For instance, if you claim JSA and work part-time, the first £5.00, £10.00, or £20.00 of your income may be exempt from tax.

As a general rule, the standard disregard from tax is £5.00 a week for single people and £10 a week for couples. However, a higher disregard of £20 is available to the following groups:

  • Lone parents who are entitled to the Family Premium
  • Disabled claimants who receive the Disability Premium
  • Carers who are entitled to the Carer Premium
  • Certain claimants who are aged over Female retirement age
  • Share fishermen
  • Part-time firefighters and reservists


In conclusion, Job Seeker’s Allowance in the UK can be taxable or non-taxable, depending on the type of JSA received. Contribution-based JSA is not subject to income tax, while income-based JSA is taxable, provided the individual’s income exceeds the tax-free personal allowance.


UK Benefit Guide – Jobseekers Allowance

EIM76222 – Social security benefits: how much jobseeker’s allowance is taxable – HMRC internal manual – GOV.UK

How is the tax collected on taxable state benefits?