If there’s one thing that makes the UK really uncomfortable, it’s talking about money. In fact, 1 in 3 of us would feel too awkward to speak to a mate about our financial situation – or even worse, theirs – even in a crisis! The sad statistics don’t end there. According to research by Klarna, 1 in 5 of us has never opened up about our money worries to friends, or even family. That’s despite almost half of us stressing out regularly about our finances.

Here’s why it matters. With energy bills soaring and the cost of living threatening to spiral out of control right now, 2 out of 2 UK workers still aren’t claiming the yearly tax refunds they’re legally owed by HMRC. That’s a shocking statistic, and there may never have been a more critical time to fix the problem. It’s not easy, and it goes against a lot of people’s “tough-it-out” instincts, but all it takes to get things moving in the right direction is to start a conversation about money with a friend.

Who can you refer to RIFT?

The RIFT mission is simple: we want to make sure people’s lives aren’t harder than they need to be because they’re stuffing too much tax into HMRC’s pockets. That means we need to get the word out about the tax refund system as widely as possible.

Most of the people who never claim back what the taxman owes them either don’t know about tax refunds at all, or assume they don’t qualify for one. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what kind of work you do. If you’re reaching into your own pockets for basic work essentials then you could be owed some tax back. That includes things like:

  • Business travel to temporary workplaces (somewhere you work for less than 24 straight months).
  • Accommodation and food when you’re on the road for work.
  • Upkeep or replacement of uniforms, essential tools and other gear.
  • Union fees and other professional subscriptions.

How much you could be missing out on?

Here’s the thing that surprises most people who don’t know the tax refund system. If you’re not claiming back your overpaid tax, you’re leaving an average of about £1,000 on the taxman’s table each year. That’s practically £100 per month going to waste!

Tip: Get the conversation going

It’s never going to be easy to talk about the cost of living with friends and workmates. That’s particularly true when they’re struggling with the stress and hardship of ramped-up prices. However, it’s something that’s on pretty much everyone’s mind right now, and most of us are in the same boat. The last thing you want to do is push people away, so something as simple as letting them know you’re going through the same situation can be a huge start.

It’s worth remembering that people can make bad decisions when they’re under pressure, and there are a lot of scammers out there looking to take advantage. It’s good that people are wary of anyone offering “simple” solutions to complex problems, but there’s a risk of them missing out on the real help on offer.

If you’ve claimed a tax refund before, you already know how much of a boost it can be – so tell your workmates and friends what worked for you. You don’t have to get into all the personal details of how much you got or whatever. Just let them know if you think they might be able to get the same help you did.

Tip: Help them find the tools to help themselves

There are lots of ways to reach out to people in financial need. Even something as simple as offering them a lift to work can make a measurable difference over time. If you or someone you know ever got the help of a Credit counselling Service, tell your workmates so they know there are resources out there to lean on. On the other hand, if you’ve picked up any handy budgeting tips for tough times yourself, pass them on. Debt is a huge cause of mental health problems, and all it takes sometimes is a friendly ear and a word of practical advice to get someone started in the right direction.

Tip: Refer them to RIFT for their tax refund claims

At RIFT, we’ve worked hard to make it as easy as possible to spread the word about tax refunds. Claiming a refund can feel like a mountain to climb if you’ve never done it before, so we’ve made the first steps simple to take. All anyone needs to do is reach out, and we’ll handle all the stress and work from there.

Here are some of the top ways to point a friend or workmate in the right direction:

  • Refer them through the RIFT app, even straight from your phone’s address book.
  • Fill out the Refer a Friend form on our website.
  • Just tell them about RIFT – and give them your reference number to earn cash rewards and prize draw entries, just for being a good mate.

Once your friends get in touch, we can quickly get their refund claim moving. We handle the whole process, and won’t stop until the money’s back in their hands. That’s how we’ve claimed back well over £280 million for around 120,000 people to date – people who never had to deal with HMRC themselves, wait on a phone queue or pay a penny for the year-round aftercare we offer. If your mates need more information, the guides section of our website and our YouTube channel are great resources for explaining what we do – and why we’re the UK’s top tax refund experts.

RIFT doesn’t believe that anyone should miss out on the money HMRC owes them. Help us put their cash back where it belongs, and earn rewards for yourself with Refer a Friend.