Want a tax refund? It helps to know your place
It matters where you are, and where you're going.
At RIFT, we work with people from all over the UK. As we crunch their numbers and solve their problems, we take time to spot the trends we're seeing. That way, we can offer more help to everyone.
For instance, would you like to know which part of the UK gets the most tax refunds, or the highest?
Where in the UK gets the most tax refunds?
Looking at the results for 2015/16, we quickly see that more people from Hampshire get money back from HMRC than anywhere else. No wonder it's considered the top place to live in the UK!
It's not all about London.
In a recent survey, Winchester in Hampshire took the top spot in a list of best places to live in the UK.
The survey considered life expectancy, earnings and unemployment levels.
Despite Kensington and Chelsea having the highest average income, London put in a weak showing overall. In terms of the best places to work, Cambridge took 1st place while London didn't even show up on the list!
Did you know? British workers are on the move.
According to research from Moovit, the transport app, UK workers are travelling further to work than the rest of Europe. We're also spending more to do it. Costs vary up and down the country, but London's a particular nightmare for some.
Here's how we got to work in the UK last year:
Even students are having to factor a daily commute into their money planning. One University of London student actually managed to lower his living and travel costs by moving to Poland and commuting in!
Remember, no matter how far you travel, or what means you travel by (unless its on your own two feet) we can claim a tax refund for the money you've spent on it.
There's more than one way to win.
It's not just about where gets the most tax refunds. We also know which areas of the country enjoy the highest refunds - and that means that these are the areas where people end up spending the most on their travel. This could be that they're doing longer, more expensive, journeys or that they're just travelling more than everyone else. We'll be exploring that in a future blog.
So while Devon comes a respectable second in the "most refunds" rankings - but it's actually top in our list of the area with the overall highest refunds claimed. In the 2015/16 tax year alone, a whopping 33% of people from Devon scored a 1-year tax refund of over £1,000, and 10% of those got over £2,000.
Looking at the rest of that list, we see Hampshire drop to 4th place, overtaken by Lincolnshire and Lancashire. In fact, 6 of the top 10 most frequent and highest earning spots were taken by "shires" that year!
You can get hold of us anywhere - and you do!
Mobile technology has changed everything about the way we work in recent years. When it comes to visiting the RIFT website for refund claims or to update your information in MyRIFT, we can see this really clearly. While most customers still visit our site from UK, many of you are working much further afield.
You're out there in the USA, Germany - even India and Romania show up high on the list. Wherever your work takes you, remember that RIFT is only a couple of clicks away.
With our specialist Armed Forces team working on military refunds we expected to see the locations of well known military bases showing up, but people are telling us they're increasingly travelling abroad to work on construction projects and our offshore customers are out in some very remote corners of the world. Luckily we also have specialist teams for CIS, complex travel and offshore claims to make sure that you get the maximum refund, all covered by the RIFT Guarantee.
It's worth mentioning at this point that if you are about to be deployed with the Forces or to go on rotation offshore you can authorise a family member or partner to talk to us while you're away so you don't have to wait longer than necessary for your refund.
Maybe some of you are sitting on beaches enjoying last year's refund and updating your details on MyRIFT ready to claim your next one. If so, have a cocktail by the pool for us!
Did you know? UK workers waste 400 days of their lives travelling.
It's a fact that no-one ever lay on their death-bed wishing they'd spent more time sitting in traffic jams or airport waiting rooms.
If you're stuck with a Commute From Hell (or to it), try easing the stress with a spot of meditation. Just don't do it when you're driving.
If you're dreaming of travelling somewhere more exotic as you sit on public transport it's worth remembering that it takes about 480 hours to learn one of the "basic languages" and 720 for "difficult languages". With the average commute being 1 hr and 38 mins you could be fluent in less than a year - just in time to spend that refund on a well earned break and impress the family by speaking the lingo like a local when you get there.
So, how do your home and workplaces stack up? How far are you prepared to go for the right job?
Apparently the UKs rainiest places are:
But looking back at our highest refunds it doesn't seem that the rain is driving people to travel further away for work.
Lots of people do use their refund for their annual holiday in the sun, so all that travelling to work eventually pays for you to travel somewhere warmer and more interesting. Our Northern customers often have the longest journeys for work, too so there's plenty of time to plan how to leave that rain behind.
One the other hand, the warmest places are:
Faversham is just up the road from us here at RIFT, so that was some good planning by our Chairman and founder, Jan Post.
Hampshire does feature in the warmest places, so all those people getting their refunds there will be able to celebrate outdoors. In fact one of the most popular things that people tell us they've spend their refund money on is doing up the garden - and this could be why.
Whatever your commute's like, don't let the taxman make it worse.
There are still far too many people missing out on the tax refunds they've earned. You can claim your cash from up to 4 years back, so it's still not too late to claim for the 2013/14 tax year.
Use our free tax refund calculator to check if you're owed anything back for your travel.