Every year, practising barristers must declare their total income (net of VAT) to the Bar Council. A practising certificate fee is payable depending on declared income for the previous year.
In November 2016, the Bar Council published a consultation regarding practising certificate fees. The consultation revealed how many (of 15,800) practising barristers are in each income band category:
Approximately one-third of all practising barristers (31.7%) earn less than £60,000 p.a.
Approximately half of all practising barristers (51%) earn less than £90,000 p.a.
Approximately one-quarter of all practising barristers (27.2%) earn more than £150,000 p.a.
The aforementioned fees are subject to income tax and national insurance. Barristers in independent practice must also pay for travel, chambers fees, pension contributions, computer equipment, various mandatory subscriptions, and other unrecoverable expenses.