I am a qualified nurse since 2001 and in 2004 I undertook a degree level specialist training course from Oct-June 2005 this was classed as full time study with work in practice comprising part of the programme. I continued to receive my salary but moved to another work setting so that I could get the community practice essential to the course.
One month ago, I received notification from a fellow student from a different organization who completed the same training programme with me, that we were entitled to a tax rebate, as this was classed as a widening access course and we should not have paid tax.
My colleague has been paid. Her organization needed to make this claim on her behalf and she received £5K in tax. I contacted my organization who advised they would not sign the declaration, they are applying advice that they have had in regard to trainee psychologists (not my staff group and not a widening access course) to my own claim. See below:
Widening Access Training Scheme (WATS)
Further to the update issued last week, the Trust has reviewed the current HMRC guidance and legislation concerning scholarship income and has considered whether payments received by employees under NHS contracts of employment can be deemed to be scholarship income.
As per our last update and as can be seen highlighted in the HMRC process flowchart below, having confirmed that an individual is an employee, the next key factor in establishing whether they are eligible for WATS is to determine whether or not they received scholarship income during their period of training.
As stated in our previous update, HMRC issued a letter to the Trust on 03.11.17 in response to our request for clarification, which states that:
“The legislation defines scholarship as including a bursary, exhibition or other similar educational endowment”.
In the majority of cases, the NHS employs individuals whether permanently or for a fixed term period on standard NHS contracts; paying a salary (currently in line with Agenda for Change pay scales, previously Whitley pay scales) and entitling the employee to NHS terms and conditions, progression up the salary scale and to membership of the NHS pension scheme. Whilst these contracts may cover a period of training, they do not specify that the employee will receive a bursary, exhibition or other similar educational endowment.
The Trust therefore has no evidence on which to dispute the HMRC decision in respect of clinical trainee psychologists or to state that employees from any other staff group (IAPT, Assistant / Advanced practitioners etc) have received scholarship income during periods of training. Consequently, the Trust would be unable to sign the legal declaration confirming scheme eligibility required as part of the claim submission.
The Trust do recognise however that there may exceptionally be some individual potential claimants who have a contract that may vary from the standard NHS contract.
Consequently, if you believe that you have a contract of employment evidencing that you received scholarship income i.e. a bursary, exhibition or other similar educational endowment and not a salary during your period of training then we would suggest the following:
Trainee Clinical Psychologists
Send a copy of your contract of employment evidencing receipt of scholarship income directly to the WATS Team at:
Widening Access Technical Team
HM Revenue & Customs
Other Staff Groups:
Send a copy of your contract of employment highlighting specifically where you believe it evidences receipt of scholarship income to:
I am unsure why I am being treated differently to my colleagues from another organization. It was twelve years ago so I have no letters I only keep 10 years of documents. Please can someone advise what I should do. I have contacted HMRC who have just said I need to provide evidence that I was paid a scholarship.
I would really appreciate any advice, I don’t know what to do next but this is a lot of money for me so would like to get it!