Originally Posted by borat_sagdiyev
can someone explain to me what a tax refund actually is?
it depends on where you work and what the relevant tax laws are.
in the UK we have a scheme called PAYE (Pay as you earn).
if you're in school it's usually the case that you'll likely work more in the holidays.
with any PAYE sbheme you get a base allowance, that's the amount that you can earn in a year before you are taxed.
in the UK this is usually a few thousand pounds.
you pay a percentage of your wages - the base amount and tahe makes up the tax that you pay...
to make the sums easy I'll change the numbers.
first we'll say the base allowance is 5000, (i.e you only get taxed on earnings over 5000).
the tax amount we'll call 25%
if you earn 1000 a month, over a year you'll earn 12,000
so total amount - base amount is the taxable amount
this means that you'll pay 1750 in tax over a year
this is split up, and you pay an equal amount each year, (for this example it's about 145 (a little over)
so each month you work earning 1000 you're taxed 145
that's the basics of how PAYE tax works.
the reason you'll get a tax return as a student is that you likely only work for four months of the year.
in this example we'll say that you earn 1000 each month, an in accordance with PAYE rules you pay the percentage as if you earned that throughout the year...
so you work a month earn 1000 and pay 145 tax as above.
except if you're only working 4 months this means you're only earning 4000 in a year, this means that you're 1000 below the threshold for paying tax and you've paid tax where you shouldn't.
in this case you should get a rebate.
which would be all the tax you paid.
for exact amounts I suggest you look at your tax code and google for the exact percentages in your region...
(in the UK you'll rarely be contacted to say that the government owes you money, so if you think you're owed tax then read and re read the above, look at your tax codes and the amount you have earned over a year and then apply for a rebate)
(edit, this also applies if you've had time off that you're not paid for, for instance taking extended leave, swapping jobs, long term sickness etc).