What is a tax refund?
A tax refund or a tax rebate is money you get back HMRC if you have paid to much tax in a financial year. Tax refunds can happen automatically, for example, if you are employed and under the current Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system your employer automatically deducts your tax. You are taxed on your salary, but if your salary goes down, or you find yourself out of work, HMRC knows that you will be owed a tax refund and will automatically send it to you.
Am I due a tax refund?
A lot of UK workers, whether employed by a company or self-employed do not know that they may be due tax rebates. They do not realise they could be making a tax back claim on travel expenses and costs if they are not paid for by their employer. The HM Revenue and Customs do not always get the sum right because they do not always have all the relevant information needed. It may be because you have work expenses that they do not know about, such as fuel expenses, overnight stays or course fees. Self-employed workers who use the self- assessment tax return system can also end up paying to much tax. Builders for example, who are using the CIS (construction industry scheme) can lose a lot of income before they even pay themselves, meaning they are not getting the full benefit of their tax-free personal allowance so they too could be owed a tax refund.
What can I claim a tax refund on?
If you have used your own money to cover work costs and expenses and your employer does not cover them, you can claim a refund on:
• Mileage costs and travelling expenses
• Rail tickets
• Overnight accommodation stays and food (in certain circumstances)
• Professional fees and subscriptions
• Uniform costs (if required to wear one)
• Laundry and maintenance costs
• Tools, equipment and materials
• Expenses incurred while attending training & course
• Other subsistence expenses
What information do I need to make a tax refund claim?
You can backdate your expenses claim up to the last four years. To start a tax refund claim you will need the following information:
• Photo ID (driving license or passport)
• Proof of address (bank statement, utility bill or a tax bill)
• Payslips from your employer or contractor
• MOT certificates (if you have been using your own transport)
• Receipts (fuel, food, tolls, fees & anything else work related)
• A list of workplace you have travelled to
• A list of workplace dates
If you can give as much information as possible including the places, dates and times plus any receipts of things that you have purchased for work purposes can help maximise your claim.
How long does a tax refund take?
Once you have filed your tax return to HMRC, it can take up to 8-10 weeks for them to process your tax refund.
What Can I Claim Tax Back On?
You can claim tax back on most work-related expenses. Below is a list of items that you can request a tax rebate on:
• Vehicles for work use
• Fuel/Mileage costs
• Travel expenses
• Overnight expenses (food in certain circumstances)
• Rail Tickets (single & season tickets)
• Uniforms, work clothing and tools
• Cleaning costs for uniforms
• Professional fees, subscriptions & unions fees
This list is an example of what you could claim back; there may be expenses & items specific to the job role that you could claim back.
What are the Deadlines?
In the UK, the current legislation states that you can claim back up to four years when claiming a tax rebate. What this means is you could claim for the following tax periods:
• Year ending 5th April 2016
• Year ending 5th April 2017
• Year ending 5th April 2018
• Year ending 5th April 2019
Over such a long period of time wage slips and p60s can be lost or misplaced. In most cases, this is not a problem as at Swift Refunds we can seek copies from HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf.
Am I Due Any Tax Back?
Most workers, whether employed or self-employed may be due a tax rebate for work-related items, expenses or because they have paid too much tax. HMRC do not know everyone’s individual circumstances, and it is up to the taxpayer to contact HMRC to see if they are entitled to any tax relief.
Other reasons for a tax refund may include pension payments, redundancy payments, interest from a savings account, PPI, or UK income if you are living aboard.
All claims for tax refunds and rebates are reviewed on a case by case basis. Use our tax claim form and answer a few simple questions to see if you could be entitled to make a claim.
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Tax Refunds & Tax Returns made easy
Whether you use your own vehicle for work, use public transport such as trains to travel to various work locations or buy your own equipment and materials then there is a good chance that you can claim back for your travel expenses. HMRC lets claimants claim up to 4 years worth of expenses. On average a 4-year tax rebate pays out around £2,500.