Guidance

Widening Access Training scheme: refund Income Tax and National Insurance to NHS workers

How to refund Income Tax and National Insurance contributions to workers who attended an NHS Widening Access Training course.

Find out who’s eligible for a refund

If you have deducted Income Tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) from workers who attended a Widening Access Training course (WAT), both you and the worker could be entitled to a refund.

This is because payments made by employers to workers receiving full-time instruction can be exempted from Income Tax and NICs provided certain conditions are met. In these circumstances it’s up to you to take the correct deductions from workers’ pay.

Conditions

Workers must have attended a qualifying WAT course. They’ll also have had Income Tax and NICs deducted from their pay during that period.

If workers did a combination of paid work and attended a qualifying WAT course, they may also be eligible for a refund if you deducted Income Tax and NICs from all of their pay.

You can find full details of conditions in Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 and Statement of Practice 4/86.

Responsibility for refunds

Training courses attended before 6 April 2013

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will deal with the refund if your employee attended a qualifying WAT course starting before 6 April 2013.

You should submit claims to HMRC on behalf of your NHS employees, providing full details of all eligible workers.

Trusts/authorities should notify HMRC by submitting a schedule by email to the mailbox. nhswat.mailbox@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Workers have been advised to contact you to confirm if you’ve already sent a claim to HMRC on their behalf. You may need to ask them for further information or evidence to support their application for a refund.

Training courses attended after 6 April 2013

If workers attended a qualifying WAT course starting on or after the 6 April 2013 the refund should be dealt with by you through your payroll system.

Training course only

If an employee attended a qualifying WAT course and is entitled to a refund, you should complete a Full Payment Submission (FPS):

  1. Enter the full amount of training income paid to the employee in the field ‘Value of payments not subject to Income Tax or NICs in pay period’.
  2. Enter the tax code for the year.
  3. Don’t complete any of the NICs fields.

Training course and paid work

If the employee did a combination of training and paid work and is entitled to a refund for the training income, you should complete an FPS:

  1. Separate the training income from the earned income.
  2. Subject any additional earnings to Income Tax and NICs in the normal way.
  3. Enter the amount of training income received in the field ‘Value of payments not subject to tax or NICs in pay period’.
  4. Enter the tax code number for the year.

If you’ve already sent your final FPS for the years starting 6 April 2014 onwards, you should complete an Earlier Year Update.

Published 19 December 2016