Don’t let your membership go - pay no more than 1 per cent
NUJ MEMBERS who are on a low income are eligible for reduced monthly contributions to their membership fee. These are also known - confusingly in our industry - as "subs", for subscriptions. You can apply for reduced contributions, to pay no more than one per cent of your taxable income, subject to a minimum of £5.33 per month. This will rise to £5.66 per month in July with a general subs increase.
You need to apply to the membership department to get reduced contributions - write to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do this before 31 January and your application is accepted you should avoid starting automatically to pay the full monthly contributions. If you apply before 31 March and your application is accepted you will receive backdated credits or refunding of any overpayments. If you apply later than that, you may still get a reduction but it will not be backdated.
If you are already on reduced contributions, you should have received an email - and reminders - urging you to re-apply.
The usual proof of the income you have in order to determine your NUJ earnings-related subs - including reduced subs - is your tax return. The normal annual deadline for submission to HMRC is 31 January. Because of covid-19, the deadline for your 2020-21 return has been extended a month to 28 February 2022.
The membership department needs proof of your taxable income. That is, the money you have received from all sources - including any covid-19-related payments - minus business expenses that are acceptable to the Inland Revenue.
If your income was not low before April 2021 - the end of the tax year that you've just submitted - but has crashed since then, it would be a good idea also to send other evidence of your lower income from April up to now. This is, we fear, not an unusual occurrence in the current covid-impacted economy. Examples of other evidence include bank statements, invoices, your own business records of incomings and outgoings and a supportive letter from your accountant or bookkeeper if you have one.
If you haven't submitted an application by 31 January, you'll be put on full monthly contributions. If you apply to NUJ for reduced subs before 31 March and your application is accepted, as above any overpayment will be covered by backdated credits or refunded.
And those who have just joined should note the Union's Rule 4(c): "New members - those joining within a given calendar year - must apply for reduced subs within a month of election (on whichever date that occurs) to obtain, if accepted, a reduced rate through to the end of that year."
You also have to contact the membership department when you have the happy news that your income has started to recover significantly.
- 9 January 2022 We corrected the minimum payable and added an explanation of what is relevant income.
- 10 January 2022 We further corrected the deadlines for applications.