Frequently asked questions

We've collected the answers to the most common questions we get here. If your question isn't answered, or if you just prefer to talk to a real person right away, you can give us ring, use the Live Chat here on our site, join us on Facebook or send us a message for help.

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Most likely, yes. The amounts you receive don’t normally cover everything you’re entitled to.

It is important to know that we deduct HDT or GYH allowances from any claim we make as both are paid non-taxed.

Use our Tax Refund Calculator to find out if you are owed anything from HMRC

If you live in married quarters, on or off base, and spend your leave periods there, it would normally be classed as your main residence. The claim in this case would be for any costs for travel between your married quarters and any temporary postings of up to 24 months.

If you already receive a Home to Duty (HDT) allowance for this already, we will review the amounts received against the allowable limits and claim for any shortfall.

Use our Tax Calculator to see if you are owed a refund from HRMC.

If you live on base part of the time but go home to another address for weekends or longer periods of leave, the leave address would be classed as your main residence.

A tax refund claim in this case would be for travel between your home address and your workplace.

If you already receive a Get You Home Travel (GYH) allowance for this, we will review the amounts received against the allowable limits and claim for any shortfall.

Use our Tax Calculator to find out if you are due a refund.

Yes this is very important as we need to have documentary evidence to support your claim.

Please ensure you keep a copy of each of your Assignment Orders for each base that you have traveled to. You can print these from JPA but please note these are deleted after 60 days.

See our checklist of the documents you will need to make a claim. We can help you get copies of anything you are missing if needed.

It will depend on the type of training.

HMRC has strict rules about what is classed as an allowable expense around training. If it was an essential part of your contractual duties of employment then we might be able to claim for the traveling expense.

You will need to have completed your phase one training to make a claim.

Even if you not due a refund this year remember that you can claim for the past 4 tax years so use our tax calculator to find out if you are owed anything.

To get a tax refund, HMRC says you need to be travelling to temporary workplaces. Reservists and Territorial Army personnel tend to spend most of their service in one place, which wouldn't qualify and is an example of when you wouldn't be able to claim an MOD tax refund.

That said, your circumstances might be different from most. Get in touch if you want us to look into it for you. It costs you nothing to find out where you stand.

Use our tax calculator to see if you are due a refund

Find out if you need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return or if you can claim Flat Rate Expenses.

Yes. You are legally entitled to reclaim 24p per mile, which is the difference between the HMRC allowed rate of £0.45 per mile* and the MOD £0.21 per mile tax exempt allowance. To claim this, you must be on temporary duty. This is defined by the relevant HMRC legislation, not by MOD policy.

 

Ask RIFT about your specific circumstances if you are still unclear.

*HMRC EIM32080 Travel expenses: travel for necessary attendance: temporary workplace: limited duration, the 24 month rule.

Read the letter from the MOD about supporting tax refund claims.

Despite what some people are saying, MOD personnel really can get UK tax refunds. RIFT Refunds always knew this was true and we fought hard to get the proof. You can read the MOD letter to us and feel assured that this is something that can be legitimately claimed for.

Tax refunds for travel can be claimed, as confirmed in DIN ‘2015DIN01-005’ which has been issued to all service personnel to officially confirm this.

There has been a lot of confusion around tax refunds that RIFT has worked hard to clear up with both the MOD and HMRC.

Different interpretations of what is meant by ‘a temporary posting’ have caused this confusion. Some believed that individuals who claimed a tax refund on HDT were doing so in breach of HMRC rules. RIFT can categorically confirm that none of these potential situations can arise and this is confirmed by the MOD.

Some also thought that making any claim for a tax refund may mean the individual may have to repay rebated money in the future. Others also thought claiming a refund would jeopardise the whole tax exemption of the MOD HDT allowance, disadvantaging many service personnel.

Others were worried about changes to tax codes. Your tax code should not change due to a refund claim but any problems with your tax code are covered in our aftercare service which means we will get any errors fixed for you at no extra charge. Read more about tax codes and how to check if yours is correct.

DIN ‘2015DIN01-005’ has been issued to all service personnel to officially confirm that tax refunds for travel are claimable.

It also states that you can use an agent to make a claim for you. RIFT will act as your agent, providing an end to end service if you don’t have the time or are not comfortable dealing with the technical legislation set out by HMRC.

This supports the previous formal confirmation we received from the Ministry of Defence.

Just like anyone else, you're entitled to a UK tax refund for travel expenses to and from temporary workplaces. If you're making your own way from a UK residence, you could have a pretty big refund on your hands. Watch out, though - if your family has moved abroad with you, then your main residence might be outside the UK. In that case, you can't claim for your travel costs.

Find out everything you need to know about paying UK tax if you work overseas or get in touch.

Yes, if this is classed as your main residence.

The legislation for tax refund claims is based on costs for travel expenses on to temporary postings of under 24 months, even outside the UK, using either your own vehicle or public transport counts.

If you're in the Armed Forces and making your own way to more than one base, you can claim any overpaid tax on the cost of that travel for the last 4 years, and the RIFT average 4 year rebate is £2,500.

HMRC takes a big enough bite out of your pay already. Don't let them hold onto cash that's supposed to be in your pocket. Use our tax calculator to find out if you are owed anything back.





No, laundry costs are included in your annual personal allowance (i.e. the amount you can earn tax-free each year). This will be recorded in your tax code.

 

You may be able to claim if you have the receipt and it is in the last four tax years as it is a work related expense.

Use our tax calculator to find out if you are due a refund.

Yes, the cost of flying varies considerably so we need evidence of your actual expenses for HMRC. We can only claim for the actual flights you made, not the cost of any flights between two destinations.

Have a look at our checklist of the documents or paperwork we'll need for your claim.

You can download all your wage slips from the JPAC website.

Under HMRC legislation a posting that is more than 24 months is deemed permanent and therefore the temporary workplace rules don’t apply. However, we would review every case in isolation as we would need to understand your expectation at the outset of your posting.

As you can claim for the previous 4 years even if you have been at your current base for over 24 months you may be able to claim for previous postings.

Use our Tax Calculator to work out if you are due a refund.

We need the following information to assess your MOD tax refund and then hopefully process your claim:

  • List of bases you’ve attended - Copies of assignment orders are helpful here and are available from JPA, but be aware they are deleted after 60 days. Included in this list you should also include any time spent on courses as this can be claimed for as well
  • Monthly payslips – If you haven’t got all of your payslips, you can download them from the JPAC website
  • Other supporting documents – If you can, MOT certificates, P60s and P45s can also help your claim. Don’t worry if you can’t provide these though, we can still reclaim your tax without them

See our full document checklist and what to do if you are missing anything.

Other information – We’ll ask you a few simple questions about your financial circumstances e.g. if you have any other sources of income such as rental income, whether you have a student loan or a private pension that may affect your claim, your tax code or mean that you need to submit a self assessment tax return.

The MOD accommodation rules may also have an impact so we will need to understand your living arrangements. This helps us calculate the value of tax you’ve overpaid.

Use our Tax Calculator to find out if you are due money back.

If you're self-employed and paid through the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), you're probably due a tax refund.

You can also claim back a range of job-related expenses, including travel, meals, lodging, parking, tolls, tools, protective clothing, public liability insurance, phone bills, postage and stationery.

We’ll assess all your expenses and include them if they qualify. That way you'll be certain that everything on your claim is a genuinely allowable expense and you won't find HMRC knocking on your door asking for their money back. If you're a RIFT customer, you'll be covered by our RIFT Guarantee as well, so you've got even more peace of mind.

Sadly there are a number of unscrupulous tax refund advisors taking advantage of CIS workers at the moment. Read our blog on How to spot a CIS Refund Scam and keep yourself, and your money, safe.

If you want to see how much you could be due back from HMRC use our tax calculator and find out in seconds.

Yes it does. All self-employed people, including CIS workers, have to complete a tax return every year. The tax year ends on 5th April and you’ve got until 31st January the following year to send your tax return to HMRC.

Read more about Tax and the Construction Industry Scheme

At RIFT we complete your tax return for you, and claim your tax refund at the same time. Just tell us where you’ve worked, and when, and we’ll work out the cost of your travel. We’ll add any other job-related expenses you may have and fill in the tax forms for you, all you need to do is sign them.

We’ll send the forms to HMRC, handle any questions on your behalf and chase them if they don’t pay out in the agreed timescale – it’s all part of our service.

95% of our CIS customers get a tax refund, and the average value of the refunds is £2000 per year.

Use our tax calculator to find out how much you could have waiting for you at HMRC.

Once we've got all your information, it usually takes about four weeks to put your claim together. We send your claim to HMRC who will reveiw your claim and then send the refund to us..

The sooner we receive your information and signed forms, the sooner you will receive your tax refund. Typically HMRC then take 8-10 weeks to process and pay out your refund to us.

As soon as we have it we send you a cheque or pay it into your bank account as you prefer.

The single biggest cause of delays in getting refunds back quickly is not getting the Authorising your agent (64-8) form back to us. If you need a new one you can download it and print it out to send back to us by Freepost. Without 2 hard copies with your signature on HMRC will not talk to us about your claim. It seems annoying, but it's a legal requirement to protect you from fraud.

Have a look at our timescales page for more information about how long it takes to get your tax refund done and some pointers for how to make things happen as fast as possible.

If you want to get your money back more quickly you can upgrade to our Rapid Refunds service.here we fast-track your claim and pay you within 24 hours of completing it. We then wait for HMRC to pay us. Terms and conditions apply.

Remember that you can claim for the last 4 tax years and you can make your claim at any time.

 

 

Please do!

Not only will you be doing them a big favour if you can get some cash back in their pockets but we'll pay you a £50 referral reward for anyone who does go on to claim through us.

Until the 9th of October we'll also pay you an extra bonus of £150 if 5 people claim with us (T&Cs apply)

If you tell them to apply now they'll get their tax refund in time for Christmas and you'll get something extra to stuff in your stocking. That could be £400 in your pocket as well as the warm glow you get from helping out your mates.

To get started:

  • Simply enter your friend’s name and email address using our referral form, and we’ll send them a one off email to let them know you think RIFT tax refunds could help them.
  • If they get in touch and claim a refund, we’ll send you a £50 reward for your help.
  • And for every 5 you send that claim, you get an extra £150 bonus.

Not sure which friends could claim? Find out more about who can claim tax refunds.

There's no limit to the number of people you can refer and we pay out the rewards every week. It could be a nice little extra in your pocket, as well as the lovely warm feeling you get from knowing you helped out a mate.

Find out more about the referral scheme.

 

A tax refund or tax rebate is "a refund on taxes when the tax liability is less than the taxes paid". In standard English this means if you've paid too much tax to HMRC you can claim it back.

By law, if you're travelling to temporary workplaces and paying to make your own way there, you could get a tax refund. On average, a 4-year tax refund claimed through RIFT amounts to £2,500.

Just answer a few simple questions and we can tell you whether the expenses you've had to pay out in the course of your work meant that you may have paid more tax than you should.

Often tax overpayment is from "hidden" things like not being reimbursed for the costs of travel or other work-related expenses by your employer. Without making a claim HMRC will not know to send it to you. It's a clunky system, we know, but that's why we're here to help.

You can also use our Tax calculator to see how much you are due if you do make a claim.

 

Our standard charges are:

  • Tax refund if you're employed under PAYE: 28% of refund claimed + VAT (minimum fee £45+VAT)
  • Self assessment tax return and tax refund for self employed (including CIS for construction): £245 + VAT
  • Self assessment from £95 + VAT

Don't worry if you had a mixture of self-employed and PAYE (employed by a company) work during the period you want to claim for. We can work out if you would be due a refund and let you know what the fee would be.

See our full list of services with prices and options.

When we receive your refund from HMRC we take out our fee and then pay it the refund to you. There are no up front charges to pay for anything. If you are not due a refund then there is no charge.

Before we send your claim to HMRC we sent a copy to you with a full breakdown of all the fees so you can clearly see:

    The total refund
    The cost of our service
    The VAT due (VAT goes to the government, it's charged on almost all goods and services)
    The amount you will receive

You will need to sign and send this back to us to say you have read, understood and agreed with it, along with a declaration that all the information you have provided about your claim is true. This means you will never be charged any fees you have not agreed to.

There are no further fees to pay, and no hidden charges.

All aftercare is included (if you need us to call HMRC on your behalf, if you have a problem you would like us to resolve with them, if your tax code needs correcting etc).

Your refund is covered by the unique RIFT Guarantee which means that whatever happens, your refund stays in your own pocket and will never go back to HMRC. If we fight any HRMC enquries for you (which is included free of charge) and if they did demand any money back, we would pay back the refund to HMRC ourselves.

We will also send you a reminder when it's time to see if you have a claim next year.

If you don't have a P60 we you can use your last payslip or income statement. We can also get copies of the P60 directly from HMRC.

Visit our checklist for details of the documents you need and what to do if you are missing anything.

You can reach us on the phone or Livechat   

  • Mon-Thurs: 8:30am – 8:30pm
  • Fri: 8.30am – 6:00pm
  • Sat: 9:00 – 1:00pm

You can email us or send us a question or feedback through our contacts page at any time and you can leave us a private message through our Facebook page.

A tax return is a form you use to tell HMRC about your earnings and expenses. It's a complete overview of the taxable income you've made and the costs of doing business you've faced.

A tax refund is money HMRC gives back when you've paid too much tax. There are several reasons why you might overpay, and you often have to file a claim and prove you did.

There’s basically no acceptable excuse for missing self assessment tax return deadlines, even if you don't owe HMRC anything. If you miss the deadline there are a number of self assessment tax return penalties that you could be hit with:

  • £100 automatic fine for filing even a single day late,
  • £900 in penalties can stack up over the next three months
  • £3,000 for each year you can’t provide the necessary records

We’re here to take care of everything - from completing your tax return, through calculating any refunds due, to speaking to HMRC on your behalf. You can also get more self assessment tax return tips and advice here with some clear "dos" and "don'ts".

Find out more about self assessment deadlines and penalties.

When you're claiming tax relief for food, you need to keep hold of things like receipts and order tickets as evidence of what you’ve spent. If you're paying by card, keep the slip that comes out of the machine. You can also get this information from bank statements but that will be much harder work.

If you take cash out of a machine to pay then take a quick photo of the withdrawal receipt. However, as with your bank statement this will only show what you took out, not what you spent so get a photo of the till total or anything else that shows the actual price you paid.

It’s a good idea to take a photo the price board or menu as extra evidence of your claim. If the menu doesn’t change you don’t have to take the same picture everyday – just one to show the prices is fine.

Here are some examples that customers have taken in the past. You don't need to take an award winning photo, just a quick snap of the prices like this will do.

Examples of menu boards for tax refund claims.

You won’t need us to send all the records for us to do your claim but we need to know that you have evidence of your spending in case HMRC do ask for it and to make sure you're protected by our RIFT Guarantee.

We can make a refund claim for your food related expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand alone expenses claim.

Use our tax calculator to see if you're due a refund.

You don’t need to keep lots of paper. Store any photos, screenshots or scans somewhere you can easily find them on your computer. For now, just hold onto them. We may need to ask you for these at a later date to support your claim.

It's a good idea to take a photo of the menu board or price list where you bought your food. If it doesn’t change, you don’t have to take the same picture everyday – just one to show the prices like these ones taken at real works canteens.

Examples of meal boards for tax refund claims

If you order your food online then save the confirmation email.

You probably won't need them all to back up your tax refund claim but we need to know that you have the evidence if the tax man does ask for it.

We can make a refund claim for your food related expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand alone expenses claim.

Find out more about tax refunds.

It's tricky to claim tax relief if you don't have proof of what you've spent. We may still be able to include your food costs in your refund claim if you’re working on a site where we have details of standard costs for.

Just remember to start keeping your records from now on to make things easier next year.

Use our tax calculator to find out if you're due a refund.

Yes. If you are staying overnight for work and your employer does not refund the money you spent on meals then you can claim tax relief in the same way as you can with other work related expenses.

Again, it’s important that you’re honest. Don’t claim to have eaten a 3 course meal in the hotel restaurant if you popped out to the local takeaway.

Don't forget to claim for the cost of food purchased during travelling to your temporary workplace. Whether you buy your food from the buffet trolley, the service station or at a shop or takeaway en route remember to keep the evidence so that we can claim the tax relief for you.

Read more about tax refunds.

If you can't get a receipt for your food, even a photo of the price board can be helpful in proving what you've spent. Just take a quick snap with your phone and keep it safe. The taxman's not trying to trip you up or cheat you out of money. All he's after is evidence to back up your claim, so he's sure you're paying the right amount of tax.

You won’t need to send us all the photos for your claim. We just need to know you have them in case HMRC do ask for some evidence of your costs to make sure you're covered by the RIFT Guarantee.

Sometimes but if the subsistence allowance completely covers the cost of your food while you’re away from home for overnight stays then you can’t claim anything else.

If the amount does not cover all your expenses for food then you will be able to claim the difference.

Read more about tax refunds.

If you’ve made your lunch at home, then you can’t claim the costs. This is because the groceries are part of your personal shopping bill, not work related expenses.

It's often strange little details like this that easily trip people up. That's why we're here to help make sure you get the best refund possible and always stay on the right side of HMRC's rules.

Use our Tax Calculator to find out if you can claim.

If you’re self-employed, freelance, contracting or working CIS in construction, this will be handled under your expenses in your self-assessment tax return in the normal way.

The same principles apply though, you will need to be able to provide evidence of what you’ve spent in order to claim them as costs. Keep your meal receipts in the same way as you keep all your other records needed for your tax return.

Read more about self assessment.

You can still claim even if your canteen is subsidised - but only for the subsidised amount that you paid.

Make sure to keep a record of what you spend so that we can work out the total at the end of the year.

If you didn’t get a receipt or meal ticket then just take a photo of the menu board or price list where you bought your food. If it doesn’t change, you don’t have to take the same picture everyday – just one to show the prices is fine.

Read more about tax refunds.

Many people assume it’s not worth the hassle of keeping records of what you spend on meals because the refund you get back won’t be worth it.

Shockingly it turns out that you're probably looking at about a staggering £90,000 spent on food over your working life – that’s enough to pay off an average mortgage 6 years early!

The cost of food varies a lot up and down the country, and depends on things like whether you have a subsidised canteen at work. Still, the average daily spend of a person at work is £5 - £10. This means you should be getting £250 - £480 more  back from HMRC in your refund every year.

If you don’t claim you’re missing out, on average, around £12-25k over the course of your working life – and that’s a considerable amount of money for taking a few photos of what you had for lunch.

Let's have a look at some examples:

Bill, is a builder working on a construction site in London.

  • He arrives in the chilly early hours and grabs a quick cuppa to warm up before work  on his way in (£1.20).
  • After a few hard hours, he gets a tea break at 10am. He only had a light breakfast, so he buys a bacon roll from the local shop to keep him going until lunch (£2.49).
  • Lunch today turns out for be a burger with chips and a soft drink from the on-site canteen (£4.50).
  • In the mid-afternoon, he gets another break. There's a food van handy, so he buys himself a quick snack and a drink there (£1.75) before finishing up his day's work.

Were you keeping track? Bill’s spent £9.94 already – and he’s probably a bit dehydrated at that!

All pretty simple so far, right? Only, Bill had to trek down from his home in Scotland for this job and travel home at weekends. He claims his tax refunds for the food he buys during his work day, but he's still missing out badly.

  • He grabs a sandwich and a beer (£8.80 – and that’s if he has just one drink) on the train for his dinner on the way south which he should be claiming for.
  • When he arrives he has to stay overnight, which means bills for his evening meals (£7.50 in a local pub), because he doesn’t get a subsistence allowance from his employer
  • Then he has to fork over the price of next morning's breakfast (£5.95)

This means he spends £22.25 on food during his travels to work.

We can make a refund claim for your food related expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand alone expenses claim.

Use our Tax Refund Calculator to find out what you could claim.

If you’re travelling to a temporary workplace then you can claim the costs for food purchased during this time.

This might be when you are travelling during the working day to temporary workplaces or it might be if you have to travel a long distance to get to a temporary site that you’re staying over at.

Whether you buy your food from the buffet trolley, the service station or at a shop or takeaway en route remember to keep the evidence so that we can claim the tax relief for you.

Find out what you could claim with our Tax Calculator.

If you’re part of the Hungry Soldier scheme then you sign for your meals and the cost is taken directly out of your salary in arrears. You will need to keep a record of how much this adds up to each month and let us know what you spent.

The amount taken out should be shown on your payslip. You’ll need to give us copies of your payslips for your travel refund anyway, so you should be keeping those.

Use our Tax Refund Calculator to find out how much you could claim.

When you're claiming tax relief for food, you need to keep hold of things like receipts and order tickets as evidence of what you’ve spent. If you're paying by card, keep the slip that comes out of the machine. You can also get this information from bank statements but that will be much harder work.

If you take cash out of a machine to pay then take a quick photo of the withdrawal receipt. However, as with your bank statement this will only show what you took out, not what you spent so get a photo of the till total or anything else that shows the actual price you paid.

It’s also a good idea to take a photo of the price board or menu as extra evidence of your claim. If the menu doesn’t change you don’t have to take the same picture everyday – just one to show the prices is fine.

  • If you pay directly in the Cookhouse or Mess, you're probably paying in cash and you might not get a receipt. We need to have evidence of your personal expenditure so that we can claim the tax relief on it so make sure you keep a record in some of the ways listed above.
  • If you’re an officer you probably have the option to sign for your food and get an expenses receipt at the end of the month. You can keep the print out, but it’s probably easier to take a photo or screen grab of it and save it on your computer. If you haven’t been keeping these receipts, then you should be able to ask for copies of them as they should be available from your administration department.
  • If you’re part of the Hungry Soldier Scheme, then you sign for your meals and the cost is taken directly out of your salary in arrears. This should be visible on your payslips.

If you haven’t been good at keeping receipts to date, start keeping them from now on to make claiming easier next year. You wouldn’t throw away a £5 note, so don’t throw away your receipts as that’s what they could be worth to you.

We can make a refund claim for your food related expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand alone expenses claim.

Use our Tax Refund calculator to find out how much you can claim.

You don’t need to keep lots of paper. You can take photos or scans of them and save them somewhere you can easily find them on your computer.

For now, just hold onto them. We may need to ask you for them at a later date to support your claim.

You may not need to send them to us for your tax refund claim but we need to know that you have the evidence to hand if HMRC does ask for it so that you're protected by the RIFT Guarantee.

This depends on quite a few factors about your personal situation, so it’s best to speak to us directly and we’ll talk it through with you and let you know what to do.

You can claim for your meals bought in the Cookhouse or Mess during working hours though.

 

Read more about tax refunds for the Armed Forces.

This depends on whether your permanent residence is elsewhere. If you’re not sure and want to talk it through with us then give us a call and we’ll let you know how the rules apply to your situation.

If it is then you can claim tax relief against the costs of any takeaways or meals out you have to buy.

If you ordered online keep a copy of the email confirmation or save a screenshot.

If you went to the takeaway, then take a photo of your receipt or the menu board.

Use our Tax Calculator and find out if you're due a refund.

If you’re in Substitute Living Single Accommodation (SSA), you’ll get an additional allowance given to purchase food as you won’t be entitled to use the Cookhouse. You get this as a supplement in your pay so you can only claim if your expenses exceed the amount of the allowance.

Find out more about tax refunds for members of the Armed Forces.

Food that you don't personally pay for can't be claimed against for tax relief. For example, if you're at sea in the Royal Navy, your meals are provided for you and don't count toward you tax refund.

You should keep track of any meals you have to buy onshore or off-base, though, as those can often count.

Read more about tax refunds for the Armed Forces.

 

If you’re part of the Hungry Soldier scheme then you sign for your meals and the cost is taken directly out of your salary in arrears. You will need to keep a record of how much this adds up to each month and let us know what you spent.

The amount taken out should be shown on your payslip. You’ll need to give us copies of your payslips for your travel refund anyway, so you should be keeping those.

Use our Tax Refund Calculator to find out how much you could claim.

When you're claiming tax relief for food, you need to keep hold of things like receipts and order tickets as evidence of what you’ve spent. If you're paying by card, keep the slip that comes out of the machine. You can also get this information from bank statements but that will be much harder work.

If you take cash out of a machine to pay then take a quick photo of the withdrawal receipt. However, as with your bank statement this will only show what you took out, not what you spent so get a photo of the till total or anything else that shows the actual price you paid.

It’s also a good idea to take a photo of the price board or menu as extra evidence of your claim. If the menu doesn’t change you don’t have to take the same picture everyday – just one to show the prices is fine.

  • If you pay directly in the Cookhouse or Mess, you're probably paying in cash and you might not get a receipt. We need to have evidence of your personal expenditure so that we can claim the tax relief on it so make sure you keep a record in some of the ways listed above.
  • If you’re an officer you probably have the option to sign for your food and get an expenses receipt at the end of the month. You can keep the print out, but it’s probably easier to take a photo or screen grab of it and save it on your computer. If you haven’t been keeping these receipts, then you should be able to ask for copies of them as they should be available from your administration department.
  • If you’re part of the Hungry Soldier Scheme, then you sign for your meals and the cost is taken directly out of your salary in arrears. This should be visible on your payslips.

If you haven’t been good at keeping receipts to date, start keeping them from now on to make claiming easier next year. You wouldn’t throw away a £5 note, so don’t throw away your receipts as that’s what they could be worth to you.

We can make a refund claim for your food related expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand alone expenses claim.

Use our Tax Refund calculator to find out how much you can claim.

You don’t need to keep lots of paper. You can take photos or scans of them and save them somewhere you can easily find them on your computer.

For now, just hold onto them. We may need to ask you for them at a later date to support your claim.

You may not need to send them to us for your tax refund claim but we need to know that you have the evidence to hand if HMRC does ask for it so that you're protected by the RIFT Guarantee.

This depends on quite a few factors about your personal situation, so it’s best to speak to us directly and we’ll talk it through with you and let you know what to do.

You can claim for your meals bought in the Cookhouse or Mess during working hours though.

 

Read more about tax refunds for the Armed Forces.

This depends on whether your permanent residence is elsewhere. If you’re not sure and want to talk it through with us then give us a call and we’ll let you know how the rules apply to your situation.

If it is then you can claim tax relief against the costs of any takeaways or meals out you have to buy.

If you ordered online keep a copy of the email confirmation or save a screenshot.

If you went to the takeaway, then take a photo of your receipt or the menu board.

Use our Tax Calculator and find out if you're due a refund.

If you’re in Substitute Living Single Accommodation (SSA), you’ll get an additional allowance given to purchase food as you won’t be entitled to use the Cookhouse. You get this as a supplement in your pay so you can only claim if your expenses exceed the amount of the allowance.

Find out more about tax refunds for members of the Armed Forces.

Food that you don't personally pay for can't be claimed against for tax relief. For example, if you're at sea in the Royal Navy, your meals are provided for you and don't count toward you tax refund.

You should keep track of any meals you have to buy onshore or off-base, though, as those can often count.

Read more about tax refunds for the Armed Forces.

 

When you're claiming tax relief for food, you need to keep hold of things like receipts and order tickets as evidence of what you’ve spent. If you're paying by card, keep the slip that comes out of the machine. You can also get this information from bank statements but that will be much harder work.

If you take cash out of a machine to pay then take a quick photo of the withdrawal receipt. However, as with your bank statement this will only show what you took out, not what you spent so get a photo of the till total or anything else that shows the actual price you paid.

It’s a good idea to take a photo the price board or menu as extra evidence of your claim. If the menu doesn’t change you don’t have to take the same picture everyday – just one to show the prices is fine.

Here are some examples that customers have taken in the past. You don't need to take an award winning photo, just a quick snap of the prices like this will do.

Examples of menu boards for tax refund claims.

You won’t need us to send all the records for us to do your claim but we need to know that you have evidence of your spending in case HMRC do ask for it and to make sure you're protected by our RIFT Guarantee.

We can make a refund claim for your food related expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand alone expenses claim.

Use our tax calculator to see if you're due a refund.

You don’t need to keep lots of paper. Store any photos, screenshots or scans somewhere you can easily find them on your computer. For now, just hold onto them. We may need to ask you for these at a later date to support your claim.

It's a good idea to take a photo of the menu board or price list where you bought your food. If it doesn’t change, you don’t have to take the same picture everyday – just one to show the prices like these ones taken at real works canteens.

Examples of meal boards for tax refund claims

If you order your food online then save the confirmation email.

You probably won't need them all to back up your tax refund claim but we need to know that you have the evidence if the tax man does ask for it.

We can make a refund claim for your food related expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand alone expenses claim.

Find out more about tax refunds.

It's tricky to claim tax relief if you don't have proof of what you've spent. We may still be able to include your food costs in your refund claim if you’re working on a site where we have details of standard costs for.

Just remember to start keeping your records from now on to make things easier next year.

Use our tax calculator to find out if you're due a refund.

Yes. If you are staying overnight for work and your employer does not refund the money you spent on meals then you can claim tax relief in the same way as you can with other work related expenses.

Again, it’s important that you’re honest. Don’t claim to have eaten a 3 course meal in the hotel restaurant if you popped out to the local takeaway.

Don't forget to claim for the cost of food purchased during travelling to your temporary workplace. Whether you buy your food from the buffet trolley, the service station or at a shop or takeaway en route remember to keep the evidence so that we can claim the tax relief for you.

Read more about tax refunds.

If you can't get a receipt for your food, even a photo of the price board can be helpful in proving what you've spent. Just take a quick snap with your phone and keep it safe. The taxman's not trying to trip you up or cheat you out of money. All he's after is evidence to back up your claim, so he's sure you're paying the right amount of tax.

You won’t need to send us all the photos for your claim. We just need to know you have them in case HMRC do ask for some evidence of your costs to make sure you're covered by the RIFT Guarantee.

Sometimes but if the subsistence allowance completely covers the cost of your food while you’re away from home for overnight stays then you can’t claim anything else.

If the amount does not cover all your expenses for food then you will be able to claim the difference.

Read more about tax refunds.

If you’ve made your lunch at home, then you can’t claim the costs. This is because the groceries are part of your personal shopping bill, not work related expenses.

It's often strange little details like this that easily trip people up. That's why we're here to help make sure you get the best refund possible and always stay on the right side of HMRC's rules.

Use our Tax Calculator to find out if you can claim.

You can still claim even if your canteen is subsidised - but only for the subsidised amount that you paid.

Make sure to keep a record of what you spend so that we can work out the total at the end of the year.

If you didn’t get a receipt or meal ticket then just take a photo of the menu board or price list where you bought your food. If it doesn’t change, you don’t have to take the same picture everyday – just one to show the prices is fine.

Read more about tax refunds.

Many people assume it’s not worth the hassle of keeping records of what you spend on meals because the refund you get back won’t be worth it.

Shockingly it turns out that you're probably looking at about a staggering £90,000 spent on food over your working life – that’s enough to pay off an average mortgage 6 years early!

The cost of food varies a lot up and down the country, and depends on things like whether you have a subsidised canteen at work. Still, the average daily spend of a person at work is £5 - £10. This means you should be getting £250 - £480 more  back from HMRC in your refund every year.

If you don’t claim you’re missing out, on average, around £12-25k over the course of your working life – and that’s a considerable amount of money for taking a few photos of what you had for lunch.

Let's have a look at some examples:

Bill, is a builder working on a construction site in London.

  • He arrives in the chilly early hours and grabs a quick cuppa to warm up before work  on his way in (£1.20).
  • After a few hard hours, he gets a tea break at 10am. He only had a light breakfast, so he buys a bacon roll from the local shop to keep him going until lunch (£2.49).
  • Lunch today turns out for be a burger with chips and a soft drink from the on-site canteen (£4.50).
  • In the mid-afternoon, he gets another break. There's a food van handy, so he buys himself a quick snack and a drink there (£1.75) before finishing up his day's work.

Were you keeping track? Bill’s spent £9.94 already – and he’s probably a bit dehydrated at that!

All pretty simple so far, right? Only, Bill had to trek down from his home in Scotland for this job and travel home at weekends. He claims his tax refunds for the food he buys during his work day, but he's still missing out badly.

  • He grabs a sandwich and a beer (£8.80 – and that’s if he has just one drink) on the train for his dinner on the way south which he should be claiming for.
  • When he arrives he has to stay overnight, which means bills for his evening meals (£7.50 in a local pub), because he doesn’t get a subsistence allowance from his employer
  • Then he has to fork over the price of next morning's breakfast (£5.95)

This means he spends £22.25 on food during his travels to work.

We can make a refund claim for your food related expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand alone expenses claim.

Use our Tax Refund Calculator to find out what you could claim.

If you’re travelling to a temporary workplace then you can claim the costs for food purchased during this time.

This might be when you are travelling during the working day to temporary workplaces or it might be if you have to travel a long distance to get to a temporary site that you’re staying over at.

Whether you buy your food from the buffet trolley, the service station or at a shop or takeaway en route remember to keep the evidence so that we can claim the tax relief for you.

Find out what you could claim with our Tax Calculator.

Yes, as long as you’ve got a receipt from the taxi driver.

We can’t claim without the receipt because prices can vary a lot and we need evidence of your actual expenses for HMRC. We can only claim for the actual taxi rides you made, not the average cost between two destinations.

Have a look at our checklist of the documents or paperwork we'll need for your claim.

Use our tax calculator to see if due a tax refund for your travel and expenses.

Yes, we claim the mileage from your home to the heliport.

Use our tax calculator to see how much you could claim back.

No this is completely different. Seafarers deduction deals with residency issues and how many days you are out of the country. Our claim is for your travel from your home to the heliports.

Tax refunds aren't just for offshore travel expenses, either. The tax rules also allow offshore workers to claim for hotel bills and a number of other expenses. If you're footing those bills yourself, you could be due some cash. Working offshore is challenging enough already. You don't need the taxman drilling deeper into your wages than he's supposed to.

Use our tax calculator to find out if you're owed a refund.

Yes, as long as you’ve got the receipt.

We can’t claim without the receipt because costs for hotels can vary a lot, even for the same room on different dates.

We need evidence of your actual expenses for HMRC. We can only claim for the actual stays you made.

Have a look at our checklist of the documents or paperwork we'll need for your claim.

Definitely. Most of our offshore clients work two weeks on, two weeks off and we can claim on average £700 - £900 per year.

Use our tax calculator to see if you're owed anything for the past 4 years.

If you’re having any problems with getting your travel history, we've listed 2 possible options below:

  • If your employer has contractor access to Vantage, they may be able to provide this information for you.
  • Use our free ‘Forms by Phone’ service and our experienced team will assist you with completing this information.

Don’t worry to much if you can’t remember everything, we don’t need exact dates and locations for your first claim, just give as much detail as you can.

By the time you come to make any future claims you'll know what to keep each year so we'll probably be able to claim a lot more for you.

When we receive your refund from HMRC we take out our fee and then pay it the refund to you. There are no up front charges to pay for anything. If you are not due a refund then there is no charge.

Before we send your claim to HMRC we sent a copy to you with a full breakdown of all the fees so you can clearly see:

  • The total refund
  • Our price that will be taken out of it
  • The VAT due (VAT goes to the government, as on all goods and services)
  • The amount you will receive

You will need to sign and send this back to us to say you have read, understood and agreed with it, along with a declaration that all the information you have provided about your claim is true. This means you will never be charged any fees you have not agreed to.

There are no further fees to pay, and no hidden charges.

Read more about our fees.

All aftercare is included (if you need us to call HMRC on your behalf, if you have a problem you would like us to resolve with them, if your tax code needs correcting etc).

Your refund is covered by the unique RIFT Guarantee which means that whatever happens, your refund stays in your own pocket and will never go back to HMRC. If we fight any HRMC enquries for you (still included in the cost) and if anything did go wrong (which it never has in 15 years) we would pay back the refund to HMRC ourselves.

We will also send you a reminder when it's time to see if you have a claim next year.

Please do!

Not only will you be doing them a big favour if you can get some cash back in their pockets but we'll pay you a £50 referral reward for anyone who does go on to claim through us.

Until the 9th of October we'll also pay you an extra bonus of £150 if 5 people claim with us (T&Cs apply)

If you tell them to apply now they'll get their tax refund in time for Christmas and you'll get something extra to stuff in your stocking. That could be £400 in your pocket as well as the warm glow you get from helping out your mates.

To get started:

  • Simply enter your friend’s name and email address using our referral form, and we’ll send them a one off email to let them know you think RIFT tax refunds could help them.
  • If they get in touch and claim a refund, we’ll send you a £50 reward for your help.
  • And for every 5 you send that claim, you get an extra £150 bonus.

Not sure which friends could claim? Find out more about who can claim tax refunds.

There's no limit to the number of people you can refer and we pay out the rewards every week. It could be a nice little extra in your pocket, as well as the lovely warm feeling you get from knowing you helped out a mate.

Find out more about the referral scheme.

 

Our standard charges are:

  • Tax refund if you're employed under PAYE: 28% of refund claimed + VAT (minimum fee £45+VAT)
  • Self assessment tax return and tax refund for self employed (including CIS for construction): £245 + VAT
  • Self assessment from £95 + VAT

Don't worry if you had a mixture of self-employed and PAYE (employed by a company) work during the period you want to claim for. We can work out if you would be due a refund and let you know what the fee would be.

See our full list of services with prices and options.

When we receive your refund from HMRC we take out our fee and then pay it the refund to you. There are no up front charges to pay for anything. If you are not due a refund then there is no charge.

Before we send your claim to HMRC we sent a copy to you with a full breakdown of all the fees so you can clearly see:

    The total refund
    The cost of our service
    The VAT due (VAT goes to the government, it's charged on almost all goods and services)
    The amount you will receive

You will need to sign and send this back to us to say you have read, understood and agreed with it, along with a declaration that all the information you have provided about your claim is true. This means you will never be charged any fees you have not agreed to.

There are no further fees to pay, and no hidden charges.

All aftercare is included (if you need us to call HMRC on your behalf, if you have a problem you would like us to resolve with them, if your tax code needs correcting etc).

Your refund is covered by the unique RIFT Guarantee which means that whatever happens, your refund stays in your own pocket and will never go back to HMRC. If we fight any HRMC enquries for you (which is included free of charge) and if they did demand any money back, we would pay back the refund to HMRC ourselves.

We will also send you a reminder when it's time to see if you have a claim next year.

If you’ve had a tax refund yourself, you’ll know how it all works and that there really is money waiting at HRMC for people to claim it back. As you know, far too many people are still missing out on the tax refunds they're owed, and a quick word from a workmate can make all the difference.

You can tell them about RIFT and how to get in touch with us, but if you use RIFT's Refer a Friend scheme you can even make yourself a little extra money, just for spreading the word. You don't even need to have a claim of your own this year to start earning!

The quickest way to refer your friends is by using our online form here.

You can also phone, email, FB, Livechat us with your friends email address or mobile number so we can send them an invitation to see if they are due a refund. 

Whether you're the new rookie on the job or the grizzled veteran 2 days from retirement, it's good to have buddies to rely on.

The scheme's very simple. Just fill out our referral form with your friend's details (name and mobile number or email address) and we'll handle the rest.

We’ll send them a one-off email or SMS to let them know they might have a refund claim with a link to our online form where they can check for free.

If they do make a refund through us, we'll send you a £50 thank-you bonus. There’s not limit to how many people you can send our way and you’ll get a reward for every one who claims. Every time 5 people you refer to us have claimed, you'll get an extra £150 on top!

82.8% of people referred to us do turn out to be owed money, so that could be a lot of extra cash in their pockets – and yours!

Absolutely! Tell them the RIFT reference number we gave you, so they can quote it to us when they get in touch. That way, you can be sure you'll get the credit – and the cash – when they make their claim.

If they forget your number, don't worry. If they can tell us your name and your postcode, mobile or email address then we should be able to see that it was you who sent them our way and make sure that you get paid if they claim. The number just makes it a little easier to be sure we're giving credit where it's due.

Using the refer a friend form means they get sent a link that includes your reference number so there’s never an issue with that.

Yes, definitely! RIFT has representatives visiting construction sites up and down the UK. When they're around, just get your friends to collar them in the canteen. They should be able to say on the spot whether there's a good chance they're owed money by HMRC. They'll explain how it all works and get things started. Again, if they let us know that you referred them, you'll get the bonus cash.

If you were helped by a RIFT representative yourself, of course you could always just give them your friends' contact details directly. If you can't find one to talk to in person, you and your workmates can also find us on Facebook, and Twitter. Feel free to keep getting the word out by sharing our posts and tagging your friends to let them know they could have a refund claim. 

We pay your referral rewards once the person you referred has made a successful claim with us.

The first thing to do is check with your friend if they got in touch and started a claim with us. If they didn’t, you can always encourage them to get started.

It might be that the person you referred either wasn’t owed anything by HMRC this year, decided not to use RIFT, had already been referred by someone else or didn’t use your reference number when they first got in touch with us.

If they’ve started their claim, that’s great news for you both as they’ll be getting a refund and you’ll be getting your reward. As you’ll know from your own claim, the process takes around 10 weeks after they first get in touch with us to getting their refund paid. As soon as they get that refund, though, you’ll get your payment.

If they did use the link we sent them, and they’ve had their refund payment but you haven’t got your reward then please get in touch with us right away.

Anyone who uses their own vehicle or public transport to travel to temporary workplaces or Armed Forces postings (temporary counts as 24 months) may be due a tax refund.

You can refer anyone to us that you think we can help. With 1 in 3 UK taxpayers paying too much tax, and over 80% of people who are referred to us being due a refund, there’s a good chance that people you know are missing out on money that could really make a difference.

Get in touch with us and we can give you expert advice and if you need us to we can talk to HMRC on your behalf to try and get things straightened out.

There’s a chance we can reduce your debt and even get you a refund. Often people find that their refund will be big enough to clear the debt and still leave them with a little extra. While that's not such good news as getting to keep your whole refund it does give you peace of mind that the debt is gone and there are no fines or interest stacking up. With that cleared you'll be able to claim again next year and keep all of it.

If the debt is too large to be covered by any refund we can help arrange a payment plan for you or for you to pay it back through your tax code throughout the year.

Genuine mistakes do happen as well, so we can investigate and find out if that is the case.

There are lots of reasons that people might have unknowingly underpaid their tax. The important thing is to be able to show HMRC if it was an honest mistake as soon as you can. Showing willingness to get things sorted out will go a long way.

The one thing you shouldn't do if you think you owe HMRC money is ignore them. They will pursue it and the longer you leave it the worse it will be when they finally catch up with you.

Read more about what happens if you've underpaid tax.

 

You can't claim tax relief just for using Self Assessment. However, depending on the kind of work you do, there are many kinds of allowable expenses you can claim for. In general, any essential costs of running your business could count against the profits you pay tax on.

Self Assessment is a system HMRC uses to collect Income Tax in the UK. Tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings. People and businesses with other income must report it in a self assessment tax return.

Read more about self assessment.

It's not just the self-employed who need to worry about Self Assessment tax returns. You’ll need to submit one if:

  • you've got £2,500 or more in untaxed income e.g. money from renting out a property
  • your savings or investment income was £10,000 or more before tax
  • you made profits from selling things like shares, a second home or other chargeable assets and need to pay Capital Gains Tax
  • you were a company director - unless it was for a non-profit organisation (eg a charity) and you didn’t get any pay or benefits, like a company car
  • you're a nominated business partner - when you set up a Partnership and get it registered with HMRC, one of you becomes the "nominated partner". If that's you, it's your responsibility to manage the business partnership's tax returns.
  • your income (or your partner’s) was over £50,000 and one of you claimed Child Benefit as there is the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charges to consider.
  • you had income from abroad that you needed to pay tax on foreign income for.
  • you lived abroad and had a UK income
  • you got dividends from shares and you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer
  • your income was over £100,000
  • you were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme
  • you had a P800 from HMRC saying you didn’t pay enough tax last year - and you didn’t pay what you owe through your tax code or with a voluntary payment
  • Certain other people may need to send a return (eg religious ministers or Lloyd’s underwriters) – call us to check.

Find out more about Self Assessement Tax Returns.

If you’re self-employed, freelance, contracting or working CIS in construction, this will be handled under your expenses in your self-assessment tax return in the normal way.

The same principles apply though, you will need to be able to provide evidence of what you’ve spent in order to claim them as costs. Keep your meal receipts in the same way as you keep all your other records needed for your tax return.

Read more about self assessment.

Usually, yes. The only exception is when your club has paid you the full 45p per mile, tax free, for the first 10,000 miles in a year and 25p per mile for anything over that. If they've paid less than that, e.g. 10p per mile, then you can claim the difference.

Use our tax calculator to find out if you are due any money back.

You may be able to claim for training depending on several factors, including time spent at training and the mileage from the home ground or cost of public transport to get there.

Use our tax calculator to find out how much you could be due back.

Many sports professionals have a full-time or part-time job to supplement their income, and may earn additional money by coaching or instructing their sport. If you become very successful then you may earn additional money through things like sponsorships or advertising contracts – all of which you’ll need to declare to HMRC through submitting a self-assessment tax return.

As long as you pay tax on your earnings we can look into making a claim for you.

Claiming a tax refund should not change your tax code. If your tax code changes, just let us know and we’ll make sure it’s right - it’s all part of our aftercare service and included in the price.

Your tax code represents the amount of money you can earn tax free so it’s important that it’s correct. Who wants to pay too much tax? Or worse still, get a bill from the tax man because you haven’t paid enough?

Your tax code is used by your employer or pension provider to work out how much Income Tax to take from your pay or pension. The code is worked out by HMRC, who sends it to your employer or pension provider.

A higher tax code means you can earn more money before you start paying tax, so you’ll pay less tax over the year. However, tax refunds are hardly ever the same two years running, so if your claim is smaller, you won’t have paid enough tax and you’ll owe money to HMRC.

Your payslip should have your tax code on it. HMRC may tell your employer to use a higher tax code after you’ve claimed your tax refund because they assume you will be eligible for this tax relief next year – but you may not be. It all depends on how much travel you do.

Many people are worried about tax codes because they sound much more difficult than they actually are but once you know what all the letters and numbers mean it's as easy as reading any other code.

Find out more about your tax code and how to check if it's right.

On average, our clients get £600-£800 per year, and we can reclaim your expenses for the last four complete tax years. So your first claim could be worth around £2,500.

Read more about how to claim a Tax Refund

There are lots of ways to start your claim:

  • Chat to one of our team online using Livechat. You can open Livechat by clicking the red button at the bottom of the screen.
  • Click on the green bar at the bottom of the screen to see if you are due a rebate.
  • Call us on 01233 628648
  • Send us a private message through Facebook

If it's hard for you to call us, don't worry, let us know what time is best for you and we can call you back. Any calls from us will come from 01233 628648 so you'll know it's us.

Once we have received all of your information and documents, our team of experts will put your claim together before sending it to HMRC to be processed. The sooner we receive your information and signed forms, the sooner you will receive your tax refund. Typically HMRC then take 6-8 weeks to process and pay out your refund.

Read more about how long a tax refund takes.
See our checklist of information that we'll need to make your claim.

Once we've got all your information, it usually takes about four weeks to put your claim together. We send your claim to HMRC who will reveiw your claim and then send the refund to us..

The sooner we receive your information and signed forms, the sooner you will receive your tax refund. Typically HMRC then take 8-10 weeks to process and pay out your refund to us.

As soon as we have it we send you a cheque or pay it into your bank account as you prefer.

The single biggest cause of delays in getting refunds back quickly is not getting the Authorising your agent (64-8) form back to us. If you need a new one you can download it and print it out to send back to us by Freepost. Without 2 hard copies with your signature on HMRC will not talk to us about your claim. It seems annoying, but it's a legal requirement to protect you from fraud.

Have a look at our timescales page for more information about how long it takes to get your tax refund done and some pointers for how to make things happen as fast as possible.

If you want to get your money back more quickly you can upgrade to our Rapid Refunds service.here we fast-track your claim and pay you within 24 hours of completing it. We then wait for HMRC to pay us. Terms and conditions apply.

Remember that you can claim for the last 4 tax years and you can make your claim at any time.

 

 

When we receive your refund from HMRC we take out our fee and then pay it the refund to you. There are no up front charges to pay for anything. If you are not due a refund then there is no charge.

Before we send your claim to HMRC we sent a copy to you with a full breakdown of all the fees so you can clearly see:

  • The total refund
  • Our price that will be taken out of it
  • The VAT due (VAT goes to the government, as on all goods and services)
  • The amount you will receive

You will need to sign and send this back to us to say you have read, understood and agreed with it, along with a declaration that all the information you have provided about your claim is true. This means you will never be charged any fees you have not agreed to.

There are no further fees to pay, and no hidden charges.

Read more about our fees.

All aftercare is included (if you need us to call HMRC on your behalf, if you have a problem you would like us to resolve with them, if your tax code needs correcting etc).

Your refund is covered by the unique RIFT Guarantee which means that whatever happens, your refund stays in your own pocket and will never go back to HMRC. If we fight any HRMC enquries for you (still included in the cost) and if anything did go wrong (which it never has in 15 years) we would pay back the refund to HMRC ourselves.

We will also send you a reminder when it's time to see if you have a claim next year.

Not at all. That's just what we're here for.

To make your tax refund claim we need to know where you worked, how you travelled there and how much it cost you. For the first claim you make we'll also need to set up your account so will need some ID. Have a look at our checklist.

If you haven't got copies of everything we can help you get hold of them, even getting in touch with your employers, ex-employers, job centre, DVLC and so on.

You can fill out your info on our easy to follow paper pack or online.

If you don't like doing paperwork yourself or don't have the time/opportunity to do it then you can give us your info:

  • over the phone.
  • on Livechat
  • by email

Many of our customers have jobs that take them away from home for long periods, or work unusual hours, which can make paperwork difficult we know. Once we have your signed forms that say you want us to proceed with your claim you can give permission for a spouse, partner or relative to talk to us about the paperwork if that's easier.

Please do!

Not only will you be doing them a big favour if you can get some cash back in their pockets but we'll pay you a £50 referral reward for anyone who does go on to claim through us.

Until the 9th of October we'll also pay you an extra bonus of £150 if 5 people claim with us (T&Cs apply)

If you tell them to apply now they'll get their tax refund in time for Christmas and you'll get something extra to stuff in your stocking. That could be £400 in your pocket as well as the warm glow you get from helping out your mates.

To get started:

  • Simply enter your friend’s name and email address using our referral form, and we’ll send them a one off email to let them know you think RIFT tax refunds could help them.
  • If they get in touch and claim a refund, we’ll send you a £50 reward for your help.
  • And for every 5 you send that claim, you get an extra £150 bonus.

Not sure which friends could claim? Find out more about who can claim tax refunds.

There's no limit to the number of people you can refer and we pay out the rewards every week. It could be a nice little extra in your pocket, as well as the lovely warm feeling you get from knowing you helped out a mate.

Find out more about the referral scheme.

 

A tax refund or tax rebate is "a refund on taxes when the tax liability is less than the taxes paid". In standard English this means if you've paid too much tax to HMRC you can claim it back.

By law, if you're travelling to temporary workplaces and paying to make your own way there, you could get a tax refund. On average, a 4-year tax refund claimed through RIFT amounts to £2,500.

Just answer a few simple questions and we can tell you whether the expenses you've had to pay out in the course of your work meant that you may have paid more tax than you should.

Often tax overpayment is from "hidden" things like not being reimbursed for the costs of travel or other work-related expenses by your employer. Without making a claim HMRC will not know to send it to you. It's a clunky system, we know, but that's why we're here to help.

You can also use our Tax calculator to see how much you are due if you do make a claim.

 

Claiming a tax refund should not change your tax code. If your tax code changes, just let us know and we’ll make sure it’s right - it’s all part of our aftercare service and included in the price.

Your tax code represents the amount of money you can earn tax free so it’s important that it’s correct. Who wants to pay too much tax? Or worse still, get a bill from the tax man because you haven’t paid enough?

Your tax code is used by your employer or pension provider to work out how much Income Tax to take from your pay or pension. The code is worked out by HMRC, who sends it to your employer or pension provider.

A higher tax code means you can earn more money before you start paying tax, so you’ll pay less tax over the year. However, tax refunds are hardly ever the same two years running, so if your claim is smaller, you won’t have paid enough tax and you’ll owe money to HMRC.

Your payslip should have your tax code on it. HMRC may tell your employer to use a higher tax code after you’ve claimed your tax refund because they assume you will be eligible for this tax relief next year – but you may not be. It all depends on how much travel you do.

Many people are worried about tax codes because they sound much more difficult than they actually are but once you know what all the letters and numbers mean it's as easy as reading any other code.

Find out more about your tax code and how to check if it's right.

Yes, if you’re confident you can get your head around the legislation on temporary workplaces and have the time to liaise directly with HMRC.

However, if you don’t apply the rules correctly and claim more than you’re allowed to, HMRC may ask you to pay back some or all of your refund.

It's like getting your car fixed. Some people can do it themselves already, lots of people could learn to do it but they prefer to have an expert do it because:

  • They want to be 100% certain nothing goes wrong and have guaranteed protection for their claim
  • They don't have time to do all the paperwork or wait on the phone to HMRC (the average wait time hit 47 minutes in 2015)
  • Although they are good with figures they don't have time to keep up with all the changing rules and legislation that could trip them up.

Visit our How to make a claim page for details of what's involved.

Have a look at our tax refund calculator and see if you're due anything back from HRMC.

No, we work direct with HMRC and reclaim the tax you have overpaid from them, not your employer.

Sometimes we need some information from your employer to support your claim. In these cases either you can ask your employer for it or we can contact them for you.

If your employers would like to know more about the process then you can send them to our information for employers page which explains everything, or you can look there and find the answers before speaking to them yourself.

If you claim too much tax back and HMRC pays out, they can later decide to demand the money back as it rightly should have been paid to them. If you’ve already spent your tax refund (and why wouldn’t you?) that means paying it back from your own pocket - UNLESS YOU ARE A RIFT CUSTOMER.

Our expertise means that we will never submit an incorrect claim, but HMRC do conduct random checks, there may be something unusual in your claim that they want more information on due to your personal circumstances (maybe you had a lot more expenses than usual this year because you got more work or had to replace more equipment) and sometimes do even make mistakes.

We’re proud to work to the highest standards. We make sure that we assess, calculate and validate each and every claim thoroughly against the latest legislation. RIFT claims for everything you’re due so you get the maximum refund. And we never claim for anything that you’re not entitled to or that we can't prove to HMRC.

When you claim your tax refund with RIFT, our unique RIFT Guarantee means that you don’t have to worry about the taxman reclaiming any of your money. So long as you give us full and accurate information, if HMRC disagrees with the amount that we’ve claimed and ask for the money back, we’ll pay it. It won’t cost you a penny.

If there is any sort of investigation we will handle the whole thing for you. It's all part of our aftercare service and there are no extra charges. It's not just about the money, either. Even if you know you're in the right the whole process can be incredibly stressful if you have to deal with it on top of your normal job but that's why we're here to help you.

We're the only Tax Refunds company that has been awarded the Institute of Customer Service Accreditation.

Have a look at our blog about what to do if you get an HMRC enquiry letter or what to do if you find you haven't paid enough tax.



Your wage slips can help us determine whether or not you’ve received expenses towards your travel.

If you have, we have to deduct this from your claim. If you haven’t, we need the wage slips to show that no deduction is required. We need all the wage slips for the period you’re claiming for.

We need to be able to provide HMRC with evidence that your claim is valid. If you have been told by anyone that this is not necessary then you may want to investigate their service guarantees further as you may end up losing any refund awarded back to HRMC if you cannot prove that you  are entitled to it.

Often we find that people get a higher refund the second year that they claim as they know more about which paperwork to keep for proof of expenses.

See our checklist of documents for what you'll need and remember that we can help you get copies of many things you may have lost.

Get in touch with us and we can give you expert advice and if you need us to we can talk to HMRC on your behalf to try and get things straightened out.

There’s a chance we can reduce your debt and even get you a refund. Often people find that their refund will be big enough to clear the debt and still leave them with a little extra. While that's not such good news as getting to keep your whole refund it does give you peace of mind that the debt is gone and there are no fines or interest stacking up. With that cleared you'll be able to claim again next year and keep all of it.

If the debt is too large to be covered by any refund we can help arrange a payment plan for you or for you to pay it back through your tax code throughout the year.

Genuine mistakes do happen as well, so we can investigate and find out if that is the case.

There are lots of reasons that people might have unknowingly underpaid their tax. The important thing is to be able to show HMRC if it was an honest mistake as soon as you can. Showing willingness to get things sorted out will go a long way.

The one thing you shouldn't do if you think you owe HMRC money is ignore them. They will pursue it and the longer you leave it the worse it will be when they finally catch up with you.

Read more about what happens if you've underpaid tax.

 

Usually, yes. The only exception is when your employer has paid you the full 45p per mile, tax free, for the first 10,000 miles in a year and 25p per mile for anything over that. If they've paid less than that, e.g. 10p per mile, then you can claim the difference.

Making a claim won't affect your employer at all, although sometimes they get worried when they hear the word "refund" or "claim". You're not claiming anything more from them, just making up the shortfall from HMRC, and they won't get in trouble because they haven't done anything wrong. If your employers has questions you can point them to our Information for Employers page.

Use our tax calculator to find out if you are due any money back.

Yes. The legislation is about travelling to temporary workplaces, it doens't matter what you used to travel there as long as you incurred a cost for doing so that was not refunded by your employer.

It helps if you've got the receipts but we may be able to claim public transport without receipts because the costs are quite standard for each journey.

See how much you could be owed with our tax calculator.

It makes no difference what your job is; if your employer doesn’t pay your travel expenses in full, you could get a tax rebate.

Whether you're looking for a tax refund for Armed Forces, PAYE Construction, CIS Construction , healthcare, offshore, security, professional sports or any other industry sector, if you're paying out of your own income and work at different locations, you can get tax back for your costs.

The taxman's rules can be messy and complex. If you want to stay in his good books, you need to know exactly what you're entitled to but we can help you with your tax refund paper work.

With RIFT Refunds, finding out if you can get tax back is easy and it's free. You can talk to one of our friendly advisors right now or we can call you if that's easier. It won’t cost you anything to find out if you can get a tax rebate and you never know - you might get a nice lot of tax back from HMRC!

If your annual expenses are over £2,500 then it’s a bit more complicated.  Instead of just submitting a tax refund claim you have to complete a self assessment tax return for HMRC. If you have to do that yourself it’s quite a lot of extra work and hassle.  There’s no need to worry about that though; if we do it you won’t even notice the difference.

Find out if there's any money waiting for you at HRMC today with our tax calculator.

If your employer pays your travel expenses in full, or you only work in one location for an employer, you won't have overpaid the tax.

Although it may seem disappointing if you have nothing due back from HMRC all that really means is that you haven't been out of pocket for the last 1-4 years. You're not losing out now, if there is a claim to make it's because you've overpaid tax. It's not winning the lottery, it's putting things right.

Here's a list of the most common reasons that people can't a refund.

If you're self employed, the rules are different, and there are other expenses we may be able to claim for you. Find out more about self employed tax returns

Tell us a bit about your situation and we can quickly let you know if you should claim a tax rebate.

A Letter of Assignment (sometimes abbreviated to LOA) is the letter that you sign that legally allows HRMC to send your tax refund money to another person or organisation on your behalf. This will usually be your "agent" - which could be a tax refund specialist like RIFT or another accountant.

The work that RIFT does will usually mean that if we are claiming a refund for our you then we will do your paperwork and submit your claim and HMRC will then send the money to us on your behalf. At that point we deduct our fee and send the balance of the refund to you.

The letter must specifically mention to the tax years that to which it applies. It can be cancelled at any time with the agreement of both the person assigning the repayment and the person or organisation assigned to receive the repayment. 

When we send you your letter of assignment it will look like this:

RIFT Letter of Assignment example

What should I do if I have assigned another company to receive my refund in the past but now want to switch to RIFT?

If you have signed a Letter of Assignment with another company then it is legally binding for the tax years listed on it unless both parties (you and the company you signed with) agree to "rescind" (remove their right to receive your tax refund from HMRC) that assignement.

This means that you need confirmation from the existing company that you used that says they have "rescinded their right" to receive the refund before either you or an alternative tax agent can receive any refunds due for those years. 

Unfortunately we will not be able to offer our service until you have confirmation from them that the letter has been "rescinded".

How can I change the company I want to receive my refund for me?

You need to contact the company you used and ask them to confirm that they"rescind their right to receive any refunds of tax" on your behalf. As long as there are no outstanding fees to pay the company will usually agree right away.

However, we are aware that some people who want to use our services are finding it difficult to contact their previous supplier of tax services to do this and that in some instances there have even been outright refusals by those companies. In these situations we may be able to help you to contact the company and get it sorted out for you.

Is signing a letter of assignment the same as authorising an agent?

No, but you will need to do both for RIFT to claim your refund for you. You make a person or organisation your agent with HMRC by signing a form called Authorising Your Agent 64-8. Your agent is the person who deals with HMRC on your behalf and who prepares and submits your tax refund claim paperwork. For example if you are a RIFT customer then RIFT is your agent. 

If you're waiting for your refund for longer than you expected then the usual cause is that we don't have one or both of these signed documents from you. Get in touch if you need to check and if you need new copies we can send them out to you.

 

 

 

 

Claiming a tax refund should not change your tax code. If your tax code changes, just let us know and we’ll make sure it’s right - it’s all part of our aftercare service and included in the price.

Your tax code represents the amount of money you can earn tax free so it’s important that it’s correct. Who wants to pay too much tax? Or worse still, get a bill from the tax man because you haven’t paid enough?

Your tax code is used by your employer or pension provider to work out how much Income Tax to take from your pay or pension. The code is worked out by HMRC, who sends it to your employer or pension provider.

A higher tax code means you can earn more money before you start paying tax, so you’ll pay less tax over the year. However, tax refunds are hardly ever the same two years running, so if your claim is smaller, you won’t have paid enough tax and you’ll owe money to HMRC.

Your payslip should have your tax code on it. HMRC may tell your employer to use a higher tax code after you’ve claimed your tax refund because they assume you will be eligible for this tax relief next year – but you may not be. It all depends on how much travel you do.

Many people are worried about tax codes because they sound much more difficult than they actually are but once you know what all the letters and numbers mean it's as easy as reading any other code.

Find out more about your tax code and how to check if it's right.

The simple answer is as soon as possible after the 5th April.

We complete your tax return online and this has to be submitted and paid before the 31st January the following year.

If you miss the deadline there are some pretty expensive penalties from HMRC, and they are very strick on what counts as a good reason for being late. Gett your information into us as quickly as possible.

Another important deadline to note is that you  should get yourself registered as self employed as soon as possible after you start trading. The deadline's the 5th of October in the year you started your self-employment. Miss that, and you're risking penalties based on the potential lost tax.

Read more about self assessment tax returns.

Need more help?

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Wondering if you can claim a tax refund or need to submit a tax return? Use our online tools to find out if you're owed money by HMRC.

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RIFT Refunds, RIFT House, 200 Eureka Park,Upper Pemberton, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4AZ

Call us on 01233 628648

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