Low-income UK construction workers failing to claim millions says tax refund expert

Research by the tax refund experts, RIFT Refunds, has reported that low-income construction workers in the UK could be owed millions in unclaimed tax by HMRC.

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UK construction workers out of work should look back at their expenses and any unclaimed tax refunds they are due says tax expert

With many construction projects on hold now more than ever construction workers must ensure they are keeping on top of their expenses, especially those accumulated and not claimed over recent years.

RIFT, a PAYE construction travel expense claim specialist in the UK, says that their data shows that 31% of all PAYE construction workers who qualify are eligible to receive a refund from HMRC.

Here are some highlights from RIFT’s data:

  • Construction workers paid via PAYE could be failing to claim £300m a year and with the ability to backtrack these claims for the last four years, this could see them owed a lot more.
  • There are an estimated 2.3m construction sector workers in the UK at present with 1,478,400 of these classed as PAYE employees.
  • Unlike self-employed workers who deduct travel expenses as part of their annual self-assessment tax returns, many PAYE construction operatives like labourers, ground workers and bricklayers are required to claim these expenses back from HMRC each year.
  • However, according to RIFT, the claims payout account for just 30% of the total money owed on an annual basis.
  • The average worker receives a refund of £934 per one year claim via RIFT and £3,735 as an average refund for a four-year claim.
  • This means that the total amount due to the 31% of PAYE construction workers eligible for a refund could sit as high as £428,055,936.
  • However, with possibly just 30% being claimed each year (£128,416,781), RIFT estimates that HMRC is sitting on an eye-watering annual sum of £299,639,155 in unclaimed tax refunds owed to some 320,813 PAYE construction workers.
  • With workers also able to backtrack claims for up to four years, HMRC could be sitting on even more in rightfully owed tax.