(PRWEB UK) 2 April 2012
£180 million of annual tax refunds could be going unclaimed by workers in the UK construction industry, according to figures released today.
The research, conducted by RIFT, a tax refund specialist, found that up to 518,650 permanent construction employees could be eligible for tax refunds on travel between temporary workplaces.
RIFT is concerned that at a time when tax-avoidance by the wealthy is in the news more than ever before, some workers on comparatively low incomes are losing out on millions of pounds they desperately need.
Unlike self-employed workers who deduct travel expenses as part of their annual self-assessment tax returns, many PAYE construction operatives like laborers, ground workers and brick layers are failing to claim these expenses back.
In the regions, RIFT calculates that almost £12.5 million of tax refunds go unclaimed in London alone, with a further£4.7 million going unclaimed in both Birmingham and Glasgow.
HMRC were further criticized after it emerged that they make £5 million from the 0845 numbers of the public must call to contact them. Worse, over £500,000 is generated from calls that go unanswered by HMRC agents.
Jan Post, Managing Director of RIFT, said: “It’s a national scandal that thousands of hard working people are missing out on tax refunds that are rightfully theirs while some of the richest people have been handed a tax cut in the recent Budget announcement. We estimate that there could be as much as £180 million pounds floating around HMRC that could be putting food on peoples’ tables who aren’t earning sky high salaries.
“Hard working people are seeing their wage packets stretched more than ever before, and deserve to be able to claw back this money from HMRC. To add insult to injury HMRC then draw in millions more from people phoning them about the refunds.”