Detailed guide: Widening Access Training scheme: refunds for NHS Trust workers

Updated: Contact details under what to do if the relevant NHS Trust no longer exists have been amended.

Find out if you’re eligible for a refund

If you’ve received payments from your NHS employer whilst attending a Widening Access Training (WAT) course, you might be entitled to a refund of the Income Tax and National Insurance contributions you paid.

Payments made by employers to workers getting full-time instruction can be exempted from Income Tax and National Insurance contributions if certain conditions are met.

Conditions

You may be eligible for a refund if you attended a qualifying WAT course and your employer deducted Income Tax and National Insurance contributions from your pay during that period.

If you did a combination of paid work for an NHS Trust and attended a qualifying WAT course, you may also be eligible for a refund if your employer deducted Income Tax and National Insurance contributions from all of your pay.

Getting a refund

Courses attended before 6 April 2013

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will deal with your refund application if your employer deducted Income Tax and National Insurance contributions while you attended a qualifying WAT course before 6 April 2013.

Your NHS Trust will submit a claim to HMRC on your behalf. HMRC has asked trusts to provide full details of eligible workers, and will process claims when they’re received. You should contact your Trust and ask if they’ve already sent a claim to HMRC on your behalf.

You don’t need to do anything more if the Trust confirms they’ve already submitted your claim.
If your NHS Trust hasn’t already sent a claim to HMRC, request they submit a claim on your behalf for courses starting on or before 5 April 2013.

Your NHS Trust may ask you for further information or evidence to support your application for refund.

Courses attended from 6 April 2013

If you attended a qualifying WAT course on or after the 6 April 2013 your refund claim will be dealt with by your NHS Trust.

If Income Tax and National Insurance contributions were deducted incorrectly from your pay while you attended a qualifying WAT course, your NHS Trust will deal with your claim through their payroll system.

The NHS Trust no longer exists

If the NHS Trust that employed you no longer exists, you’ll need to write to HMRC to review your refund application. You don’t need to include a street name, city name or PO box when writing to this address.

Widening Access National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office

HM Revenue and Customs

BX9 1BX

United Kingdom

To assist HMRC with your claim, please send the following information:

  • the name of the NHS Trust or NHS Board that employed you
  • confirmation that the NHS Trust no longer exists
  • the reason you believe are eligible for a refund
  • the date the WAT course started and the date when it ended
  • evidence of the amount you were paid by NHS Trust while you attended the WAT course
  • evidence that you completed the training course
  • your National Insurance number

Possible effect on your benefits and state pension

If you get a refund of National Insurance contributions you might find that your National Insurance record is deficient. This could affect your entitlement to state pension and benefits.

You can pay voluntary contributions to make up any shortfall.

Any changes to your income can also affect your entitlement to Tax Credits.

Source: HMRC

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