Subcontractor: How do I get a tax refund?

I’ve been working as a labourer for a couple of years now. One of my mates mentioned that he'd just got a big tax refund. How do I get a tax refund?

2nd May 2019

If you are a subcontractor (and you’re not trading through a partnership or limited company) you are self-employed and therefore should be registered for self-assessment. Under self-assessment, you will need to send HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) a tax return each year.

You should also consider registering for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) if you work for a contractor. Under CIS, the contractor will deduct 20% from your payments. If you don’t register for the CIS scheme, the contractor will deduct 30% from your payments instead.

The contractor will pay over the deductions to HMRC and these amounts will count towards your tax and National Insurance bill.

At the end of the tax year (6th April to the following 5th April), you should send HMRC a tax return which shows:

  • the full amounts on your invoices as income (or from the statements you’ve had from the contractor)
  • any deductions contractors have made in the ‘CIS deductions’ field

HMRC will work out your actual tax and National Insurance bill and then take off the amounts your contractor deducted from you.

If you’re due a tax refund, HMRC will pay the money back.

We would be happy to get your registrations in order and prepare and file your tax returns for you. Please pop in to our office or call 0800 0523 555 to find out more.

By Samantha Skyring FCCA

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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