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Even the best freelancers make mistakes or may need to refund money for some other reason. You may realize that you made a mistake logging hours in an earlier week or decide to fulfill a dissatisfied client’s request for a refund. You can issue a refund for a previous billing period or on a closed contract for 180 days after you received the client’s payment.

Remember, once you issue a refund, you can't reverse it, and your account will reflect the refund immediately.

Important:

You must issue all refunds within the Upwork platform. Refunding a client off of Upwork is against our Terms of Service.

To issue a refund:

  1. Go to My Jobs > All Contracts and click the contract title. If the contract has ended, select the Include closed contracts checkbox at the top of the page
  2. Choose the Give a refund button from the (...) options menu
  3. Select Add Invoices and select the invoice you want to refund
  4. Once you've selected the desired invoices, choose Add Invoices
  5. Adjust the refund amount as needed. You can remove an invoice with the delete icon
  6. Add a note to the client and add an optional note for yourself
  7. Choose Give Refund

You may only refund an amount that is less than or equal to the lowest of the following

  • Net total transactions on the contract in the last 180 days
  • Available balance in your Upwork account, including pending transactions and submitted milestones. If you need to issue a refund but don’t have the funds to cover it in your account, reach out to support

Once you submit a refund

  • We create a credit on your client's account and a debit on your account for the balance of the refund
  • We make the credit available on the client's account right away
  • We deduct the refunded amount (including refunded fees) from your lifetime earnings with the client for determining your relationship’s service fee

To check any refunds that you have given

We must have billed your client on your behalf before you can issue a refund. To respond to a request from a client to return money that is still in escrow and hasn’t billed yet:

  1. Go to My Jobs and choose All Contracts
  2. Find the contract and select See Request
  3. Choose I approve returning the remaining funds in escrow to the client.
  4. Select Next

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I issue a refund?

To issue a refund:

  1. Go to My Jobs > All Contracts and click the contract title. If the contract has ended, select the Include closed contracts checkbox at the top of the page
  2. Choose the Give a refund button from the (...) options menu
  3. Choose the amount to be refunded and select Give Refund
How long do I have to issue a refund?

You can issue a refund for a previous billing period or on a closed contract for 180 days after you received the client’s payment. For refunds on payments made between 180 and 365 days ago, contact support.

I don’t have enough funds in my account to issue a refund. What now?

If you need to issue a refund but don’t have the funds to cover it in your account, reach out to support. Issuing refunds off Upwork’s platform is risky, against our Terms of Service, and may result in suspension.

Why can’t I send a refund to a client off-platform?

Issuing refunds outside of Upwork is against our Terms of Service because it helps prevent fraud and scams that harm you.

The money I want to refund is in escrow. How do I return it?

Your client will have to request an escrow refund and you’ll accept it. To respond to a request from a client to return money that is still in escrow and hasn’t billed yet:

  1. From your find work home page, go to My Jobs and choose All Contracts
  2. Find the contract and select See Request
  3. Choose I approve returning the remaining funds in escrow to the client
  4. Select Next

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