One of the best parts of the job for our account managers at RIFT is ringing people to tell them that they are due a tax refund and that it is on the way. Even better are the stories we hear about the different uses people have put the money to.

Food and Drink

One happy customer recently told us on Facebook that he was going to “spend it all on beer”, which sounded pretty ambitious.  With an average four-year refund coming in around £2500 and a UK average of £3 a pint, that’s 833 pints - or 3333 cans if you buy multipacks!

If you're setting your sights higher than beer, a review of the wine in government cellars was commissioned in 2011, and a bottle of Chateau Petrus 1978 was discovered. Think twice before popping the cork on that beauty, though. It's worth over £2,500!

Every year a lot of workers spend every penny they make in their tax refunds on small purchases like coffees and snacks, without even noticing. According to the Working Day Spend Report from Visa Contactless,  people who travel to work fork out as much as £2,500 a year on things like lunch and hot drinks – around £10.59 a day on average. Over the course of a year, not counting weekends and holidays, the bill climbs to £2,541!

You've got bigger plans than that for your refund, surely? It's your money, and you didn't claw it back from the taxman just to pump it into a coffee machine. That beer-enthusiast client we mentioned did get us thinking about what else you could get for the cash an average refund brings in, though. Here are a few things we came up with:

If you’d rather eat your refund than drink it, then you might consider the world’s biggest black truffle. A Black Truffle's been discovered in Australia by a team of specially trained dogs and weighs about 2.75lbs and costs around £2,500 if you wanted to eat the whole thing. Although a white truffle found a few months later in France was predicted to sell for over a $1m!

If you’re more of a carnivore, how much would you pay for your Sunday roast? Paul Bradshaw, a poultry breeder at Greenfire Farms in Florida, sells all-black Ayam Cemani chickens (black feathers, black meat, black organs - we didn't ask about the eggs). These rare Indonesian chickens will set you back about $4,999 for a juvenile pair, and Bradshaw says they're his most requested bird ever. They're named after a village in central Java and the black colouring is the result of a genetic trait known as “fibromelanosis”.

Home Improvements

Quite a lot of people use the money for home improvements. Putting in a  loft conversion, an extension, a new kitchen, another bathroom or a conservatory can more than pay for itself in the value you're adding to your house. Those are all sound decisions and good financial planning.

On the other hand, though, how much better would your house look if you headed over to Etsy and bought a 6' 4" long, 3' 6" high hand-made wolf sculpture created from 20-gauge sheet metal with a high-gloss finish?  It would sit well alongside this fire fountain,  and we all know this Millennium Falcon bed would be wasted on the kids.

This arcade table is a little out-of-reach for our average refunds, coming in at £4000. Payouts that size aren't unheard of, though - especially if you’ve been doing a lot of travel. In fact, the most the most we’ve claimed for one person was a whopping £28,569!

Maybe high-tech's not your thing. That's okay. If you’ve always dreamed of the snug and simple life of a Hobbit in the Shire, you could put that money into your very own Hobbit Hole!

Getting Outdoors

Come to think of it, adventuring has come a long way since Bilbo’s days. If you’re thinking of setting off to fight a dragon and capture a treasure, you should probably opt for a cutting-edge all-terrain vehicle or this gas powered snowboard to get you over the mountains.

If you’re looking for a high-end bike then you’d have enough for one of these beauties.

A lot of people go away for a holiday, but your tax refund calls for something a little special. How do you fancy Shark DivingGenghis Khan warrior training in Mongolia or simply kicking back in this villa on Dunbar Rock?

Clothes and Accessories

You could get yourself a bit of bling, too. Time is money, as they say, and these watches are all around the £2500 mark.

As long as you're dressing the part of a billionaire, philanthropist, playboy genius, how about a set of made-to-measure, customisable Iron Man Armour?


At the end of the day, the refund's yours, to do with as you see fit. Spend it, invest it or simply save it for a rainy day. We’ve even had someone tell us he was going to a casino to “stick it all on red” - although we never heard how he got on.

Whatever you decide, the worst you'll end up with is a great story to tell - and the best... well, that's really up to you

If you want to join the 40,000 people who enjoyed tax refunds in 2015, get in touch by calling 01233 628648 or click the button below to find out if there's money waiting at HRMC for you.