Tax refunds, step by step
Step 1: Can I claim a tax refund?
If any job you’ve had in the last four years has meant you travelling to more than one workplace, you could be eligible for a tax rebate.
Click on the green bar at the bottom of the page and answer 5 simple questions to see if you're due any money back from HMRC.
Step 2: How much will I get?
So you qualify for a tax refund? Brilliant! A typical tax refund is £600-£800 per year, and we can backdate your claim four tax years, making our average first-time payout £3,000.
If you work under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) the average annual refund is around £2,000.
How is the refund total calculated?
Your own refund depends on how much travelling you’ve done and whether your employer has paid anything towards it. So the main things we’ll need to know are where you’ve worked and how much you’ve been paid.
If you want to see a rough total you can use our online tax calculator here on the site. This is just a guide and your actual refund will tend to be higher as we'll ask you for more information for your real claim and the more evidence of your costs we can show to HMRC, the more we can claim back.
You'll need to sign a form called Authorising your agent which allows us to prepare your refund and speak to HMRC on your behalf. You can read more about what it covers and download it from our site or we can send you a copy in the post. We need 2 signed physical copies of this document to be able to do your tax refund. It sounds annoying, but it's a legal requirement and it's there to protect you from fraud.
The biggest cause of delays to people getting their refund back in their pocket is missing Authorising your agent forms. Read more about how to speed up your refund.
Here's the full checklist of documents you'll need to get the most out of your refund. But don’t worry if you haven’t got all this information, we can contact the tax man, Job Centre, DVLA or your employer (with your permission) to get copies of anything you're missing.
Once we’ve got everything we need, we’ll assess your claim and calculate your refund. For most tax rebates this takes about 5 working days.
Step 3: Sign here!
We’ll send you a copy of your claim to check and sign – we can do this by email or post.
Once you’ve confirmed you’re happy with your tax refund and want to go ahead, we’ll submit the claim to HMRC for you and keep you updated on its progress.
Step 4: Sit back and wait
Once HMRC receive your claim it usually takes them 6-8 weeks to check and approve your tax rebate. As soon as we receive your money from HMRC, we’ll deduct our fee and send your cheque the same day – or we can pay direct to your bank account. We'll also call or text you to say your money’s on its way.
If you don’t want to wait that long you can use our RIFT Rapid Refund to get your money faster! Once you’ve confirmed you want us to apply for your refund we’ll pay your refund within 24 hours.
Step 5: Roll on next year...
If you’re still travelling to temporary work sites, you can claim again! And again, and again… RIFT has many clients who claim their tax refunds year after year. Once you’ve claimed, we’ll remind you when it's time to see if you can claim again for the new tax year.