Wondering if you can claim a tax refund or need to submit a tax return? Use our online tools to find out if you're owed money by HMRC.
The tax rebate claim process
Claiming money back from the taxman isn't supposed to be easy. HMRC will give back anything you are entitled to, but they do expect you to prove what you're owed and its responsibility to claim it back. That's one of the reasons why so many people end up missing out. It takes a lot of specialised knowledge and years of experience to do it right. There are 7 specialists working on your tax rebate claim. Here's a quick run-down of what they do:
The Tax Assistance Team
A RIFT Tax Assistant is the first person you'll talk to. In only a few minutes they’ll be able to tell you
- If you're owed anything by HMRC.
- Explain what information you'll need to provide us with to make your claim.
- Answer any questions you have about how it all works.
If you're ready at this point we can move straight to the claim preparation stage and we'll get everything started. We know that having to take or make a call during office hours isn’t suitable for lots of people. You can talk to our advisors on the phone, on social media, by email or by using the Live Assistant to chat with them online. If you would like to speak to someone but would like us to call you back, just let us know when it’s the best time by sending us a private message on Facebook, using Live Chat or sending us an email.
We’ve got extended opening hours in the early mornings, evenings and on weekends to help you stay in touch, too. We’re here for you:
- Mon - Thurs: 8:30am - 8:30pm
- Fri: 8.30am - 6:00pm
- Sat: 9:00am - 1.00pm
The Claim Preparation Team
They're always up to date with all the rules and regulations HMRC sets out, and will explain the ways we can help you to maximise your refund.
They’ll also make sure everything is set up to allow us to talk to HMRC on your behalf and gather all the essential information we need to get moving such as your personal details, your employment history, how you travel to work, what you’ve spent on work related expenses and so on.
Once we have this information it's time for you to sit back and wait for the money while your claim moves to our tax specialists.
The Tax Specialists Team
They are the experts who do the complex work of building your claim. These are the people who really take all the hassle off your shoulders. They check all the crucial little details of your refund claim and make sure you’re claiming for everything you can. They’ll make sure we have everything needed to prove that you’re owed money while you sit back and plan how to spend it.
It’s not just about doing the maths and getting the legislation right, though. Your Tax Specialist will help to:
- Track down any information or documents that you don’t have.
- Contact current or previous employers for you to save you time getting paperwork such as your contracts of employment, or talk to them to confirm anything about benefits or expenses paid or any questions about whether they provided anything towards travel or subsistence allowances.
- Get hold of all your employment details need for your claim in the case of your previous employer going bust.
- Find copies of all your vehicle documentation, even if you no longer have it or have since changed vehicles.
- Contact the DWP to get hold of records of any benefits received.
- Check prices for journeys on public transport, travel routes – pretty much anything we need to make sure we have everything to make your claim.
If you've switched industries, or moved between periods of employments, self- employment, CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) or unemployment that's no problem. They can handle all of that too. If you’ve received additional income (e.g. if you’re renting out a property, getting a pension from a previous job or do extra freelance work) or your expenses are over a certain amount then we’ll keep you right with HMRC and advise on anything you need to be aware of.
To do anything well, you have to put the hours in. That's as true in tax refunds as in any other line of work. With many claims taking up to 8-10 weeks end to end, not counting any help you need throughout the rest of the year, we do a lot to make sure you don’t have to.
Here’s some of the things our Tax Specialists will do as part of putting your claim together.
- Keeping you up to date: We know your time is valuable, so we never waste it. However, we also know that you need to know what’s happening with your claim. Tax refunds are worth a lot, and they need a lot of care and attention to get right. We won't leave you wondering where you stand, and we won't leave you stranded on an endless phone queue trying to call us to find out either. If something is urgent we’ll always try and get you on the phone first, but we can also contact you by SMS, email, Facebook messenger – or whatever way you tell us is best.
- Calls to HMRC, employers, and others on your behalf: We can get a lot of the information we need for your claim this way. We do the legwork, to keep your claim as stress-free for you as possible. Members of the public are kept hanging on the phone to HMRC for 40 minutes every time they call – but luckily we can give you that time back to do something better with. We also deal with all letters, emails and other communications from HMRC for you. Confirming your refund sometimes takes some back-and-forth with HMRC as they will have questions or need to see copies of documents or other evidence. As always, we handle that for you to take the stress and hassle out of your claim.
- Paperwork: A lot of paperwork goes into claiming a tax refund and making sure everything is correctly recorded and left ready for us to help you claim next year. Luckily we do all of it for you, but where we need your help is signing a couple of forms at the beginning and at the end you’ll need to confirm that you’re happy with us to submit your claim.
- Reviewing documents: Every scrap of paperwork in a refund claim counts. At the end of the day, this is what puts the money back in your pocket. There are a lot of documents to work through, and it never pays to rush them. For example, working through 4-years' worth of bank statements to find everything you can claim for can take hours in itself.
- Amending claims: Sometimes, we uncover new information that changes your claim. Maybe HMRC's figures don't stack up with your own, or maybe there were expenses you didn't realise you could claim for. Amending your claim whenever necessary is the key to getting back exactly what you're entitled to. It's also one of the ways we protect you from HMRC enquiries.
The team uses our custom built software to hold all your information and calculate your claim so it’s easy for us to show your travel routes, methods, costs and prove your claim to HMRC.
If this isn’t your first claim with us then the team will be in touch to verify all the information we already have to make your next claim or do your next self-assessment tax return well before the deadlines.
The Submissions Team
They look after paperwork matters when you're dealing with the taxman. Whether we're setting up your Self Assessment or becoming your agent with HMRC, this team ensures all your forms are filed correctly and everything we need to prove your right to your refund.
Once all the details are checked and you're happy for us to press on, our Submissions Specialists send your claim to HMRC. Although it may not sound a very glamourous part of the process getting this right first time is crucial to you getting your money back quickly.
There's always some tidying up to do after making a refund claim, such as checking your tax code is correct. Even small details are incredibly important to get right and it’s vital that we leave all your information for that tax year up to date so we’re ready to help you with your next claim.
Compliance & Aftercare
The Compliance and Aftercare Team
One of the things that makes RIFT unique is that we don’t just send off your paperwork and you never hear from us again. The fees you pay us mean that we’re here for you throughout the entire year to deal with anything you need that involves HMRC. Here’s some of the ways we can help you once your refund is back in your pocket or your self-assessment has been safely submitted.
- If you get any communication that says it’s from HMRC, whether a letter, an email or a phone call or text, get in touch with us right away and don’t ignore it. Firstly we can tell you if it’s real or any sort of scam and make sure you stay safe. If it is real we can deal with whatever it is for you.
- If you notice a change in your take home pay and think there might be a problem with your tax code get in touch and we’ll sort it out.
- If you are asked to submit self-assessment but don’t think you need to, flag it with us right away.
- If your situation changes, for example if you’re moving between employment and self- employment, if you’re made redundant, if you start a business on the side, if you start or stop renting out a room or property, let us know and we can advise you.
- Most importantly in the rare instance of the taxman asking you to pay all or part of your refund back, call us right away. We’ll sort out any investigations or enquiries on your behalf and fight any decisions against you that we believe are wrong. The RIFT Guarantee is there to protect you and keep your refund safe.
Like any organisation, HMRC do make mistakes and it’s important to get them sorted out if they do.
The Payments Team
They're the team who check your refund payment is correct from HMRC, then send you your money to your bank account and tell you it’s on its way. No wonder they’re some of the most popular people with our customers!
The Customer Care Team
The specialist customer care team is here to make sure your experience with RIFT is a great one and that you’ve got complete peace of mind from the day you first get in touch with us.
We’re the only tax company to have been awarded the “ServiceMark” for outstanding customer service and our customer satisfaction is over 90% by the Institute of Customer Service. We won't be resting on our laurels though. We want to make our service better for you and the customer care team are the people to tell about what you think we could do better.
You can give us feedback at any point by phone, email or online, but the team will send out surveys and questionnaires to get your ideas and feedback at different points throughout the year.
We’re very proud to say that 97% of our construction customers say they would definitely recommend us to friends and family and the amount of new customers to come to us through our Refer A Friend scheme has almost doubled in the past year.
You might receive a call from our customer care team when they are doing research about what you need help with. For example we set up our Digital Customer Service Team as result of people telling us that it would be easier for them to contact us through social media and out of hours. We’ll also send you reminders of important dates and deadlines along with any updates or advice that we think will help you during the year.
If you’ve had a good experience with RIFT that you’re happy for us to share they might contact you to see if we can quote you, photograph you or film you.
Our close relationships with HMRC, unions, trade bodies and government, coupled with our specialist industry knowledge mean that we have a unique in-depth understanding that you won’t get from more general accounting services and the reason why we’ve been the UK leader in tax refunds since 1999.
Need more help?
Speak to us 6 days a week.
Mon-Thurs 08:30 - 20:30
Fri 08:30 - 18:00 and Sat 09:00 - 13:00.
RIFT Refunds, The Cobalt Building, 1600 Eureka Park, Lower Pemberton, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4BF
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