Tuesday 27th February 2024


The latest analysis by finance experts, RIFT, reveals that hairdressers, beauticians, and cab drivers have been hit with the biggest income tax increases over the past year.

RIFT has analysed the estimated annual income tax paid across 25 of the nation’s most common professions, ranging from police officers to bus drivers, to see how each professional’s tax bill has changed over the past year, based on average salary data from ONS, and income tax guidelines from the UK government.

The research reveals that hairdressers have been hit with the biggest percentage tax increase of all professions over the past year. 

In 2022, the average gross salary for a hairdresser or barber was £13,548, earnings on which they paid an estimated £311 for income tax and National Insurance (NI). 

In 2023, the average salary for a hairdresser increased to £14,725, which resulted in tax and NI payments increasing to £645. This means hairdressers saw their income tax bill rise by 107.2% year on year. 

Other professions to endure the biggest tax increases are beauticians (41.3%), taxi drivers (21.1%), florists (20.5%), dry cleaners (14.6%), chefs (14.1%), and bus drivers (13.2%).

When it comes to the largest pound and pence tax increases, no profession saw a bigger increase than solicitors and lawyers. While their annual tax bill increased by just 8.9%, this is equivalent to a hike of £1,397 over and above what they paid in tax in 2022. 

A number of professions actually saw their income tax bills decrease on the year, none more so than fitness instructors. 

In 2022, fitness instructors earned an average salary of £13,392, but a year later, this had dropped to £11,733 which brings their average income below the income tax threshold of £12,571. As such, their income tax bill fell by 100%.

Postal workers also endured a drop in salary between 2022-23, resulting in their tax bill falling by -12.4%, while police officers actually saw a slight salary increase but still saw their tax bill drop by -6%. 

Other professions to pay less tax in 2023 than 2022 include doctors (-3.8%), nurses (-2.9%), clergy (-2.3%), plumbers (-1.8%), social workers (-1.1%), and accountants (-0.4%).