Tax refunds for Armed Forces Veterans
21st May 2019
When you sign up for a military career, you’re taking on the toughest job there is, standing shoulder to shoulder with the toughest people. The challenges and rewards are immense – and neither come to an end once you leave the Service. Life after the MOD comes with its own set of obstacles to negotiate – from convincing short-sighted employers of what former Armed Forces personnel bring to the table to setting up a business of your own.
What gets missed far too often in all of this is that the debts you’re owed aren’t simply cancelled once you leave MOD work. In addition to the respect and gratitude your service has earned you, you could also be owed some actual money.
What can Armed Forces veterans claim for?
When you travel to temporary postings for your work, the money you spend on travel earns you some tax relief. It doesn’t matter where in the world you were posted, or whether you used your own vehicle or public transport.
The miles you put behind you for work can qualify you for cash back from HMRC. Most importantly, you can still claim back what you’re owed for 4 full years - even after you’ve moved on from Armed Forces work. That means, as of May 2019, we can claim back as far as April 2015 for you.
At RIFT, we earned our Silver status in the Armed Forces Covenant by honouring the sacrifices and accomplishments of MOD former and serving MOD personnel. In the last year alone, we’ve claimed back over £6.5 million for our Armed Forces customers, and the amounts we’re getting back for them are only going up as the cost of travel and other expenses increases.
Average Armed Forces tax refunds are up by 2% over last year – but it takes an expert to make the most of them. The kind of complex, multi-leg journeys MOD work often requires can be a nightmare to claim for on your own - especially if you've left the Forces and don't have easy access to the information or records you need any more.
On top of all that raw mileage, there are lots of other essential expenses that qualify for tax relief as well. Anything from the food or accommodation you’re paying for to your Mess Dress can make a real difference to your yearly refund claims. Simply claiming back your meal costs, for instance, could make your yearly tax refund 35% bigger.
What do I need to claim?
Here’s what it takes to make a solid MOD tax refund claim:
- A list of bases you’ve attended - Copies of assignment orders are helpful here and are available from JPA. Be aware they are deleted after 60 days. 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 get them, 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 military tax refund without them.
- Other information – We’ll ask you a few simple yes/no questions about your financial circumstances. For instance, we'll ask if you have any other money coming in (like rental income), and whether you have a student loan or a private pension. The MOD accommodation rules may also have an impact so we’ll need to understand your living arrangements to calculate the value of tax you’ve overpaid.
- Receipts for Mess Dress.
88% of our MOD customers say they come to RIFT because they’d never have time to do the work themselves - and with an average 4-year refund coming to £2,621 this isn't cash you want to be leaving on the taxman’s table - even after you’ve moved back into civilian life.
We can track down information, work out mileage and even account for bases that don’t even exist anymore. That's why 89% of serving and veteran Armed Forces customers say that we get them a bigger refund than they could get for themselves, even after fees.
Does RIFT have specialists for Armed Forces claims?
We're proud to have Armed Forces veterans among RIFT personnel. We know the difficulties of life in and after the Service and understand the demands it places on you and it's why we have specially trained staff to handle Armed Forces claims.
As you may expect there are some very specific rules about Armed Forces claims, due to the nature of the work, and a specialist unit at HMRC to deal with them. Often a general accountant won't have the knowledge needed to make your claim.
A massive 97% of RIFTs MOD customers say it’s the ease of claiming with us that keeps them coming back each year.
Being short of time shouldn’t mean being left short of cash – especially if you’re owed for more than one year. Leave it to our specialist teams to get back what you’re due from the last 4-years. Check if you're due a refund today.
We’re proud to support former and serving Armed Forces personnel – and what’s why you’re always better off with RIFT.