Each person is entitled to a personal allowance which is an amount of money that they can earn before having to pay any tax. The personal allowance varies from year to year and the increases are usually in line with the increase in the retail prices index.
The personal allowance can depend on the age of the individual and a higher allowance is given to older people.
The personal allowances for the tax year 2010-2011 (the tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April of the following year) are as follows:
Age under 65: £6,475
Age 65 to 74: £9,490
Age 75 and over: £9,640
So, if your total earnings for the tax year 2010-2011 are less than the personal allowance listed then no tax is due to be paid for that year.