Almost £1.5bn is owed to Britain’s construction workers by the taxman following the pandemic property boom, according to new data shared with City A.M. today.
It is estimated that more than 1m people working in the sector could be owed a tax refund, after the industry “weathered a particularly fierce storm” to keep Britain building amid Covid restrictions, tax refund firm RIFT said.
Despite labour shortages and soaring costs for raw materials during the pandemic, the industry experiencing its fastest rate of growth in almost eight months during February. Following the lifting of Plan B measures and a buoyant housing market, residential construction now outstrips the commercial sector.
New figures by tax refund experts RIFT shows 1.15m out of the 1.39m employed in the industry, are possibly entitled to a tax refund by HMRC, RIFT said.
The average one year claim sits at £1,244 per person, just shy of £1.44bn in total, with those in the south east of the country and London thought to be owed £216m in each region, and RIFT estimating that the north east has the lowest amount, at £44.4m.
CEO of RIFT Tax Refunds, Bradley Post, said the “industry has weathered a particularly fierce storm”, with challenges from the pandemic restrictions, labour shortages and rising costs. He says “the property market has been booming and yet further pressure has been applied to deliver a consistent level of new residential housing in order to service this unprecedented demand.”
Instead of shying away, Post said “we’ve seen the construction industry dig in and deliver” and as a result, “many are now owed more than just a pat on the back for their monumental efforts over the last two years.”
He said there’s “a very strong chance that those working within the industry could be owed a tax refund if they paid for their own travel or wider expenses while working on site, regardless of whether they did so on a full-time or self-employed basis.
“The total amount owed could run into the billions of pounds across Britain and so it’s well worth a check to see if you qualify.”