Happy New Tax Year
06th April 2016
So there’s not as many fireworks and not as much champagne cork popping as that “other” new year they have in January, but there’s certainly a lot to celebrate.
Ringing in the new tax year sees you get a nice big tax refund cheque through your letter box rather than the terrifying Christmas credit card bill.
It’s Time To Join The Fun!
If you’ve not claimed a tax refund for your travel before, it’s time to join the party! If you’ve claimed before then it’s time to claim again and what’s more we’ve made it even easier with our new myRIFT claim manager. If you’re a RIFT customer and have had the yearly reminder that it's time to start your 2015/16 claim, visit myRIFT to fill in details for this year.
If you didn’t claim last year, don’t worry, it’s not too late. As the legislation lets you claim for the last 4 tax years you can claim if your travel and posting in the Forces made you eligible at any time since April 2012, even if you’ve since left or retired.
By the end of last year we’d claimed over £110m for our clients but we estimate there is £180m sitting unclaimed at HMRC. We can fight to get back what’s rightfully yours, but you need to let us know you want to claim.
So the real question is: why haven’t you found out if you have a claim yet?
Maybe you heard about it and didn’t think it applied to you, If you drive your own vehicle or get public transport to different locations for work, there’s a good chance that you’re due a tax rebate. You can claim for the last 4 tax years and the average first-time tax refund is around £2,500.
If you're in the Armed Forces, if you’ve been on a posting for less than 24 months, even outside the UK, you can claim a tax rebate on travel expenses.
How Do I Get In?
If you want to find out if you’re eligible right away just answer a few quick questions by clicking the green bar below and you’ll know within seconds. If you have got a claim and want to get in touch then just fill in the contact form and we’ll get back to you.
Next we’ll ask you a few simple questions about your travel arrangements, working locations and 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.
We'll also need some information about where you live, if you're in the Armed Forces 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.
When we’ve got all your info, we’ll do your paperwork, send it to you to sign, and get it off to HMRC for you. After about 6 weeks you’ll get a nice fat cheque. Our average refund is around £2500 for a first claim, but if you’ve done a lot of travel it can be much higher.
What Should I Bring To The Party?
We need the following information to calculate your tax refund and then submit your claim:
- Copy of your photo ID (driving licence or passport) and proof of address (e.g. utility bill).
- Where you've worked,
- If you're in the Forces a list of bases you’ve attended and copies of assignment orders are helpful here and you should include any time spent on courses as this can be claimed for as well.
- All you monthly payslips/income statements for the years you’re claiming – If you haven’t got all of them, we can probably help you get hold of copies.
- 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 help you get copies.
You can see all the documents we need, and what to do if you don't have copies on our checklist page.
What New Tax Year Resolutions Should I Make?
With life being so busy it can be easy to let things like sorting out your tax refund slip “until tomorrow”. Here are some New Tax Year Resolutions that will help get that money back in your pocket where it belongs as soon as you can:
Keep an eye on the time. Make sure you get in touch with us as soon as you can after the 6th April to claim for the tax year that has just ended. HMRC gets busier the closer to the deadlines it gets, and the busier they are, the longer they take to process refunds.
Make sure you get in at the beginning and beat the rush.
Keep your records. The one thing that we find causes more delays than anything else with people’s refunds is having to hunt for paperwork.
Keep it all in one place throughout the year and come refund time you’ll be ready and raring to go. Once you’re a RIFT customer you can use our new myRIFT to manage your claim and fill in your information each month as you go to make it even easier.
Keep in touch. If you have any questions at all then get in touch with us here at RIFT. Whether it’s about your tax code, what expenses you can claim, if you change your address, move to live or base or married quarters, start travelling for training or to different work locations, or if you need help with for Self Assessment Tax Returns
Don’t listen to rumours that Armed Forces personnel aren’t allowed to claim. It’s certainly not true. You can get tax refunds for your travel, as stated in DIN 2015DIN01-005. There's been a lot of confusion around tax refunds, and we've worked hard to clear it up with both the MOD and HMRC. Personnel were confused about the term ‘temporary postings’. Some thought that claiming a tax refund on HDT broke HMRC rules. Some thought any repayment would get clawed back later by HMRC. Some even thought claiming a refund would mess up your HDT allowance tax exemption.None of this is correct; the MOD has confirmed you can claim a tax refund, so have HMRC and we’ve got over £20 million back for service personnel to prove it.
Are There Are Any Changes This Tax Year That I Need To Be Aware Of?
The recent budget revealed a number of changes to the tax rules which could affect you.
We’re here to take care of all the legislation and paperwork for you of course, but here are some changes that you should be aware of:
- Income tax rates remain unchanged
- The tax-free personal allowance (the amount you can earn before paying tax) has been increased to £11,000
- You can now earn £43,000 before paying the 40% higher rate of tax.
- Married couples can use the Transferable Marriage Allowance to transfer up to £1,100 of the lower earner’s personal allowance to the higher earner to save on tax.
- The National Insurance Upper Earnings Limit (after which you pay a lower rate of National Insurance ) has been raised by £12 a week, meaning that higher earners will pay slightly more National Insurance.
- Savers will receive a new £1,000 or £500 allowance for basic and higher rate taxpayers respectively.
- National Minimum Wage raised to £7.20 per hour for employees aged 25 and up, £6.70 per hour for employees aged 21-24, £5.30 per hour for employees aged 18-20 and £3.87 per hour for employees aged under 18. The minimum wage for Apprentices is set at £3.30 per hour.
- Rent-a-room allowance has jumped from £4,250 to £7,500.
- ISA limit raised to £15,240 per year and savers can now withdraw from the account and later re-invest the same amount without losing the tax-free advantage.
You’re bound to already have some great plans for this year. Maybe they’re to do with where you want to go on leave, maybe they were New Year’s Resolutions you made in January. Getting that cash back in your pocket is sure to help you achieve them.