Wondering if you can claim a tax refund or need to submit a tax return? Use our online tools to find out if you're owed money by HMRC.
Groundworker tax refunds
I'm a Groundworker - have I paid too much tax?
For most UK groundworkers, travel costs are a major part of any tax rebate claim. That goes for journeys via public transport and your personal vehicle alike. If you're paying the cost yourself, you should be claiming back some tax.
Tax rebates don't start and end with travel costs, of course. In fact, there are lots of necessary expenses that contribute to a refund claim. Accommodation while travelling entitles you to some tax relief, for instance, as does the food you eat at work. If you wear a uniform or protective gear, you can claim against the costs of cleaning, repairs and replacements. That goes for any essential tools, as well. If you're signed up to any professional bodies as a requirement of the job, you can claim for many fees and subscription costs.
There's a shortage of skilled groundworkers in the UK, so it's more important than ever to make sure the job pays off. The rules vary, depending on whether you're a construction PAYE worker and paid via PAYE or the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) so we have gone into more detail in the next section.Do I Qualify?
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Groundworker tax rebates
Can I claim if I am self-employed?
Working under the CIS system means losing 20% of your pay before you get it. That money's basically being taxed from the very first penny, without getting the full use of your tax-free Personal Allowance. It's supposed to be a way of tackling tax fraud in the construction industry. Unfortunately, it still hits you just as hard even if you're on the level. To get back what you're owed, you have to submit a Self Assessment tax return to HMRC.
Of course, as a self-employed groundworker you've got a lot of costs that come with the job. When you're paying out cash just to stay in business, your Self Assessment tax returns become valuable tools. Through Self Assessment, essential work expenses can be used to bring down the amount tax you pay. You do need to know your way around the system, though. It's all too easy to miss out on the tax relief you're entitled to. Worse yet, a mistake on a Self Assessment form can see you on the wrong end of an HMRC enquiry or worse. Take a look at RIFT's online Tax Return Calculator. It's free, and it's a a big step toward getting the best from your CIS tax returns.
Employment status is a tricky subject for some in construction, with confusion over employment agencies and umbrella companies muddying the water. Get in touch with RIFT if you're not 100% sure where you stand. We'll quickly assess your employment status and explain what it means. If you need to use the Self Assessment system, we'll get you registered and deal with your tax returns. If you're on PAYE and the taxman owes you money, we'll make sure he coughs it up.Do I Qualify?
Groundworker tax rebates
What information do I need to claim?
For claims based on work travel costs, your best tool is a list of the temporary worksites you've travelled to. It doesn't need to be a blow-by-blow account if you can't remember every last detail. However, the more information you have, the happier you'll be when your refund arrives.
If you used your own vehicle for your work journeys, MOT certificates are very helpful. For other costs, receipts are great for claims against food, accommodation and so on. Again, you don't need your entire life-story to get your tax back. Whatever paperwork you have to back up your claim will make things easier and smoother, though. For people paid through CIS, your monthly contractor statements will do a good job of showing HMRC what you've been paid. They'll also prove how much tax you've had taken out through the system.
Even if you've never claimed tax back before, there might still be time to get back what you're owed for previous years. You can actually claim back tax from 4 years ago and it's free to find out if you qualify, so don't let the opportunity slip away.Do I Qualify?
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