I'm working in a warehouse in a picker position. I've been working for a year now, and my question is this: I've been paying income tax since the first day, and I worked before that for a few days with agencies as well. I paid taxes. I know until you reach £10600 you don't pay income tax. Some colleagues of mine say they didn't pay any tax for the first 3-4 months,only a few pounds for NI, and they were new employees. Should I call HMRC for answers? I talked with somebody, and he said it is an HMRC problem and not the company's fault.
Although you don't pay tax on the first £10,600 of income in a tax year (the "personal allowance"), this is spread out through the year. So typically if you earn say £1,500 in a month, you would get £10,600/12 = just under £900 tax-free, and pay tax on the remaining £600. The intention is to make sure you pay tax smoothly throughout the year.
Because the personal allowance is actually yearly rather than monthly, this does mean that if you start work in the middle of a tax year having previously not had a job, you will have some unused personal allowance from the previous months which you can use immediately.
If you told your employer that you didn't have any previous income for the tax year, then they should give you the benefit of that unused allowance immediately so you might get more income tax free for some months. The form they should have asked you to fill in is linked here (it was previously called a "P46" but apparently this has been abolished now): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/paye-starter-checklist
For example if you started 3 months into the tax year, then you have a quarter of the allowance unused - £2,650. So with a gross monthly income of £1,500, you would get about 4 months pay tax-free until the excess allowance ran out (each month you get about £900 tax-free anyway, and the excess allowance gets used up at about £600/month).
Tax years run from April 6th to April 5th the next year, and if you are paid monthly then typically all your April pay ends up in the new tax year as you get it at the end of April.
So if you started work soon after the the start of the tax year - e.g. in early April - then you'll find that you don't get any benefit from this effect and you'll start paying full tax immediately. Conversely, someone who started work in January earning £1,500 a month wouldn't pay any tax at all until the new tax year in April.
(The personal allowance was £10,600 from April 2015 to April 2016, and is now £11,000 from April 2016 to April 2017.)