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Income tax refund whilst on Universal Credit

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Income tax refund whilst on Universal Credit

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
5 replies 2.2K views
dippitydippity Forumite
8 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
Can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere, so hoping you folks might be able to inform me...
Been claiming UC since last November. Have since then secured an ad hoc job. Received payment which was earnings plus tax refund. UC have assessed complete payment as earnings. Is an income tax refund supposed to be disregarded?
Bonus question - I have read that some expenses of going to work eg uniform, travel costs, can be offset against UC payments. I have just started a job (with a longer commute than the UC maximum 45 mins as stated for job search area definition ) & wondered what the guidelines are for claiming. I have only found "ask your work coach " , which suggests discretion rather than policy.
Thanks for any guidance you can offer

Replies

  • edited 15 March 2019 at 7:09AM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 15 March 2019 at 7:09AM
    Income tax refund is treated as earnings under UC. Under legacy benefits it was treated as capital so in most cases made no difference to benefits. Under UC entitlement is reduced by 63% of the tax refund. This applies to any tax refund that relates to a tax year during which the claimant worked regardless of the original reason for the tax. A particularly mean change in my opinion. You get a tax refund because you are not liable for the tax but then still lose money.

    I don’t know the answer re work related expenses. I think you are referring to the Flexible Support Fund which does appear to be at the discretion of thework coach https://www.turn2us.org.uk/About-Us/News/What-is-the-Flexible-Support-Fund

    There is a parliamentary briefing here (from 2016 so may be out of date) http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06079/SN06079.pdf but this may not be up to date. It does exclude topping up a wage for people in work (as distinct from paying expenses to help people obtain work).

    There isadviser guidance here https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/78221/response/194315/attach/3/FOI%201812%20Guidance.pdf. Unfortunately this is undated so I don’t know if it is current.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • edited 15 March 2019 at 8:18AM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 15 March 2019 at 8:18AM
    Thanks icequeen - always something new to learn. OP, these rules will not allow you to reclaim commuting costs regardless of the length of your commute.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • hucksterhuckster Forumite
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    In regard to the expenses incurred, such as safety work clothing e.g. Steel capped boots, protective overalls, it is not that straightforward to have such costs reimbursed.

    You would have to ask Job Centre Work Coach to make a referral to a decision maker. Yoy would need to supply receipts and evidence you had paid for the items concerned. You might also need a letter from the employers advising that they would not supply the items and it was the employees responsibility.

    It is not possible to claim travel expenses, as a normal expense, if you are employed. Self employment is a different matter, where business mileage may be a legitimate expense. The 45 minute is just on your commitment as a guide to travel time to work. It has nothing to do with expenses reclaim. As pointed out the Job Centre work coach through flexible support fund, might offer you help with travel costs for a limited period.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • tomtom256tomtom256 Forumite
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    PPE will not be reimbursed if you are PAYE as as your employer is legally obligated to provide these if they are required for the role you are employed in.
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