The kind of support, guidance and practical help we offer at RIFT goes far beyond simply filling in a few tricky HMRC forms for our customers. Great service means getting personal – building relationships and casting off the one-size-fits-all mentality of traditional accounting companies. That’s where people like Jim Murray come in. Jim’s on the front lines of the tax rebate battle, fighting to claw back everything you’re owed by HMRC. Here’s his personal account of his own Road to RIFT.

Jim Murray, RIFT Rep

How did you get here?

I’ve been working in all sorts of  roles now for over 40 years, all over Scotland and the North of England. The key things I’ve learned in that time are that you’ve got to get to know people in order to help them properly, and you’ve got to have 24/7 availability. Those 2 points are incredibly important. Even if you can’t solve a customer’s problems right on the spot, you’ve got to let them know that you’ve got their backs and can handle whatever they’re struggling with. What’s more, you’ve got to get really in-depth. It’s not enough to have a couple of reassuring words to offer in a crisis. You’ve got to know what they need even before they need it. That way, you never get wrong-footed and they never get short-changed.

Why did you choose RIFT?

To be completely frank, it was the idea of really helping people that drew me to RIFT. When I started looking for a new job, I knew I wanted to be able to make a real difference in people’s lives. RIFT wears its values on its sleeve, with its unique Customer Charter. I did my research, and can honestly say that it was their values that made me want to join the RIFT team.

What do you do day-to-day?

Obviously, my work involves rocketing around a load of different sites, from huge to tiny. My first port of call is generally the manager’s office. I always make a point of getting to know site managers. It’s not just a matter of convenience on my end, either. It’s important to give them a definite point of contact to reach out to, as there are new phases kicking off all the time, and new people coming in with tax refund claims they’re missing out on.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Just like refund claims, no 2 days are ever the same at RIFT. The main thing that keeps me going in this job is the opportunity to meet and help people from all walks of life. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and everyone has their own plan for their refund cheque. I love hearing back from people I’ve helped, finding out about the holiday their refund paid for or the financial difficulties it eased. I always make sure they’ve got my mobile number so they can keep me posted, and so they always have someone recognisable to talk to the next time they need help.

Where can people find you?

On site, I’m often at the canteen, but I also walk around to keep myself visible if I’m needed, and to talk to people who might not realise I’m there. If you miss me, you can still grab a leaflet and some contact details on the notice board. My phone’s never off, even on holidays, so I’m always around when I’m wanted, and I can handle out of hours meetings and home visits with no trouble.

One time, I went to see a site manager and a representative of Considerate Contractors was there. I introduced myself and had a chat about the workers on site. They’re becoming a bigger deal in Scotland – and a necessity for government contractors. I’m proud to play my part in improving things for construction workers, so it’s great to see such dedicated support for the workforce.

What do you find people struggle with the most?

I find age and experience is often a determining factor in what people have difficulty with, when it comes to tax. Older workers will tend to have a lot of the fundamentals right and really good record keeping, but can struggle with knowing about some of the more recent developments and trends. A lot of them can quote you their National Insurance codes or CIS registration from memory, for example, but draw a blank when you ask them their mobile number. With younger people, a lot of them are surprised to hear they can claim back tax at all. HMRC doesn’t always do a great job of explaining that the system exists, let alone how to make the most of it. Combine that with a few dodgy advisors giving bad guidance, and you’ve got a potentially very bad situation brewing.

Great guidance is the key to it, of course. You often find people who’ve tried to make tax refund claims before, but got cold feet and dropped out part-way through because they don’t have anyone to walk them through it. Young or old, we all need specialist advice at one time of another. With RIFT, we aim to put that within everyone’s reach.

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m a proud Scottish pub quiz finalist with a head for facts and information. You’ve got to have an eye for the fine details in my line of work, so I put mine to good use at every opportunity. My other proudest accolade is a medal I was awarded for helping the police deal with a man resisting arrest by clinging to the rear window wiper of my car! I met the policeman again 5 years later, as it turned out he’d joined a pub quiz team!

RIFT have been in the tax industry since 1999 making them the UK experts on tax rebates and tax returns