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.
UK tax rebates- Your tax refund with RIFT
A tax rebate (or tax refund) is the money you reclaim from HMRC if you've paid too much tax. Travel tax refunds are a great example. If you’re paying your own way to get to temporary workplaces, you can claim back some tax on your expenses. In April 2020 we claimed over £5 million pounds in tax rebates for our customers. The average 4-year rebate from RIFT is £3,023. Take a look at our tax rebate calculator for a free, instant estimate of what you’re owed.Start for free > Tax Calculator
Why use RIFT Refunds?
You will benefit from
If HMRC wants your refund back, we cover it.
No hidden costs
It costs nothing to find out if you have a claim.
Peace of mind
Our expert team have reclaimed £225 million.
We do the hard work
94% want to claim again with RIFT
Am I due a tax rebate?
Tax rebate experts since 1999
Since we started up in 1999, RIFT has claimed back well over £240 million in tax for customers all across the UK. That’s more than 105,000 people just like you getting refund cash back in their pockets.
RIFT keeps everything simple and stress-free, with no hidden charges and all aftercare included. That’s why we’re the first and only tax company to win the ICS Service Mark award for outstanding customer service. Whatever kind of work you do, if you’re reaching into your own pocket for even part of your travel costs, you could be owed tax back from HMRC.
Tax refunds aren’t just for travel costs, either. There’s a whole range of essential, day-to-day expenses that can count toward your tax refund claim. You might be paying for cleaning your work uniform, for example, or buying your lunch on-site. RIFT can even help you claim a refund if you’ve been made redundant or stopped work part-way through a tax year.Start for free >
HMRC Tax Refunds
What are tax rebates?
The idea of tax refunds is pretty simple. If you end up paying too much tax in a year, you can claim some back – as long as you’ve got proof of what you’re owed. In some cases, you don’t even need to claim them yourself. You might get a tax refund automatically if your PAYE salary goes down, for instance, since HMRC is keeping track of what you’re earning each month.
However, there are many more reasons why you might have paid too much tax, leaving thousands of people wondering “Am I due some tax back?” - and many thousands more simply never even realising they can claim. Remember, a tax refund isn’t some dodgy windfall or a prize you can win. This is YOUR money, and you’re leaving it in the taxman’s pocket if you don’t claim it back.
The trouble is that it takes a tax expert to get the very best from a refund claim, and not everyone even understands that they can make one. Understanding that you should be claiming back tax for your work travel expenses is only the first step, of course. You also have to get your head around HMRC’s refund rules and regulations.
Getting back what you’re due means giving HMRC all the information they need to realise you’re owed money. Without, that, the taxman can’t get his sums right. If you’ve got work expenses he doesn’t know about, for example, he can’t factor them into his calculations. Work travel costs are a big part of most refund claims, but you have to keep good records to show HMRC what you’ve spent. The same goes for your other essential costs, from food and accommodation on the road to repairing or replacing any of your important gear or tools. This is why the best start to making your claim is to talk to the experts at RIFT. All it takes is a minute of your time and answering 4 simple questions.
Even if you’re self-employed, you could still be missing out and paying too much tax. Construction workers using Self Assessment lose a big chunk of their earnings under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). This means they might not be getting the full benefit of their tax-free Personal Allowance each year. When that happens, they can claim back the money they’ve lost.Start for free >
HMRC Tax Rebates
Am I owed a tax rebate?
A lot of the everyday costs of doing your job can be used to bring down the tax you owe, meaning you can claim a yearly refund. Here are some basic examples:
- Accommodation costs - like when an offshore worker stays in a hotel the night before heading out to a rig
- Food costs when you buy your own meals while travelling for work
- Repair, replacement and laundry costs for uniforms or specialised clothing
- Fixing or replacing the tools or equipment you need for work.
- Professional subscriptions, union or license fees
- Training course expenses that are essential for your job
If any of these expenses look familiar, use our free tax rebate calculator to see if you’re owed a refund and find out how much you could claim with RIFT.
''Am I due a tax rebate?''. For most UK taxpayers, it's a tricky question to answer. The tax refund laws can be tough to get your head around unless you're an expert. The good news is that expertise is exactly what you get with RIFT.Start for free >
HMRC Tax refunds
What information do I need to claim a tax rebate?
Getting your tax back from HMRC takes a few bits of paperwork. Examples include:
- A list of all the temporary workplaces or bases you've travelled to. You'll also need the dates you were there. The more information you have the better
- Monthly payslips from your employer or contractor
- Receipts for any work expenses to help you get the most from your claim
- A copy of your photo ID like a driving licence or passport
- Proof of address (e.g. a gas or council tax bill will do)
- MOT certificates if you've been using your own vehicle to travel.
If you don't already have Personal Tax Account you'll need to set one up. It's free to do and helps you keep track of all your tax information in one place.Start for free >
How long does a tax refund take?
HMRC's the slow and steady type when it comes to tax refunds. You'll usually get your refund payout within 8-10 weeks. With RIFT on your team, of course, we'll be working hard to keep the whole process moving as smoothly as possible, Obviously, the sooner you get your rebate rolling, the sooner you'll have your money.How long does a tax rebate take?
Our guarantee means you'll never lose a penny
The unique RIFT guarantee means you'll never have to worry about the taxman reclaiming any of your rebate. So long as you give us full, accurate information for your claim, if HMRC disagrees with your payout and demands some back, we'll pay it ourselves. It won't cost you a penny.RIFT Guarantee
Covid-19 and your tax refund
Covid-19 is affecting everything at the moment but we want to make sure your tax refund is one less thing for you to worry about and make sure you’ve get that money into your account as soon as possible.
If your employer has put you on furlough you can still claim any tax you're owed by HMRC. Remember that you’re claiming back the tax you’re owed from previous years, so it’s still your money and it should still be back in your pocket. Also, it’s important to realise that you can claim tax refunds for up to 4 years, so even if you haven’t claimed one before you could still be owed money.
It makes no difference if you’ve stopped working, changed employers or even switched between PAYE work and self-employment in the last 4 years. RIFT can still work out exactly what you’re owed and make sure you get it back. If you’re on furlough now, it’s more important than ever to make sure your refunds are all paid out and up to date.Start for free>
Am I due a tax refund?
How far can I claim a tax refund?
It's possible to claim tax back for the last 4 years, even if you’ve changed jobs or moved into self-employment in the meantime. A lot of people get put off claiming their tax refunds for previous years by the amount of paperwork involved. With RIFT, though, it’s all kept simple and hassle-free. We can have a word with your old employers to get a lot of the important information directly. Even if your old company’s gone bust, there are still things we can do to get what we need for your claim.
Remember that your work mileage is just the start of your tax rebate claim. It sounds like a lot of legwork to keep track of your food, accommodation and other costs, but RIFT is here to do the heavy lifting for you. Just a few basic details and we’re away.
Tax Rebate Check
How do I check if I'm owed tax back?
To see what you could claim back from HMRC, the first step is to check our free online tax rebate calculator. It’s so important to check the tax you’re paying, whether you’re self-employed or working PAYE for an employer. It’s really easy to end up overpaying, and it can be challenging to get back what you’re due. With RIFT, though, you’ll always know your tax is being handled properly. You’ll be claiming all the right expenses and getting the very best from your refund.
There are 4 simple questions to answer to find out what you could claim. When you’re ready to get your cash back, we’ll walk you through the whole process. If you need to use the Self Assessment system to make your claim, we’ll handle that too at no extra charge. It’s all part of the RIFT service.
Because you’ll always know what paperwork your refund needs, you’ll be sure that you’re making a full and worthwhile claim. Even if you’ve missed out before, RIFT can still help you get back what you’re owed for the last 4 years. There’s no reason to leave the taxman sitting on your money, so take the first step toward making your refund claim today.Start for free > Tax Calculator
HMRC Tax Refunds
How do tax rebates work?
It can be a hassle trying to find out if HMRC owes you a tax refund. If you’ve got a claim to make, you’ve also got to work your way through a tangle of rules to get your money. It comes down to proving what you’re owed, which trips a lot of people up because they don’t understand what’s involved.
You might be owed a tax refund for lots of reasons. Work expenses like travel costs, uniform laundry or professional subscription fees can all be used in a tax refund claim, for instance. Even if you’re not paying for things like these from your own pocket, you might still be owed some tax back. For example:
- You might only have been working for part of the tax year.
- You might be on the wrong tax code.
- Self-employed people might have their payments on account set too high.
If you're making a refund claim for your mileage expenses to temporary workplaces, you’ll need a list of the places you've worked, along with what you paid to get there. If you don’t have all the information you need, things like bank statements and even invoices can often be replaced. Every piece of proof you can gather about your work expenses will smooth the path toward getting your tax refund.
Obviously, the best way to keep tabs on your work spending is to do it as you go (rather than try to scramble everything together at the last minute). RIFT makes this easy and fast with your MyRIFT account. MyRIFT lets you track your mileage and spending as they happen, uploading everything to your account right from your phone. You can even grab photos of receipts and send them directly to us with MyRIFT. Once your claim’s in motion, you can track its progress and update any details you need to instantly.
The tax laws are complicated and often scary, and so many people end up missing out and paying too much. HMRC isn’t a monster, though, and they’re not trying to cheat you. All they want is the tax you owe, and not one penny more. However, they can only give you back what you’re due if they know about it. Make the best possible start to your claim by using our tax rebate calculator for a free tax refund estimate.Start For Free > Tax Calculator
Claiming tax back
Do tax rebates happen automatically?
Sometimes, you don’t even need to claim your tax refund back yourself. Automatic tax refunds happen when HMRC takes care of them on their own. This is what the P800 tax calculation form’s all about. When you get a P800, HMRC will tell you how much tax they think you should have paid. If you’ve paid too much, they’ll sort out a refund. If you haven’t paid enough, they’ll explain how to settle up. They might decide to change your tax code, for example, meaning a different amount of tax could be taken from your PAYE earnings.
If you stop work part-way through a tax year, the PAYE system might well have charged you too much tax on the money you’re already earned. Also, mistakes can creep in if HMRC or your employer gives you the wrong tax code altogether. When this sort of thing happens, HMRC won’t give you a refund unless they know you’ve paid too much. You won’t get a P800, so you’ll have to kick up a fuss to get back what you’re owed. If this happens to you, get in touch with RIFT so we can sort it out. We’ve got a great relationship with HMRC, and can handle all the messy details for you.
The other reason why you might not get an automatic tax refund is if you’ve got work expenses that HMRC doesn’t know about. This is when you typically have to do a little legwork to get your cash, keeping hold of receipts and making records of your spending. This, of course, is what RIFT Refunds is all about. Get in touch, or simply answer our 4 quick questions to get your tax refund rolling.Start for free >
Tax refund check
Reclaiming overpaid tax
Even people who already understand why they’re owed a tax refund by HMRC can still miss out. It takes a specialist in tax refunds to make the very best of a claim, and even non-specialist accountants can still leave your money on the taxman’s table. As the UK’s leading tax refund experts, RIFT has the expertise to get back everything you’re owed – and keep you in HMRC’s good books at the same time.
Traditional accountants, for instance, can often miss out on some of your key expenses – even if they’re pretty good with your travel costs. We often find ourselves talking with people who’ve lost as much as £500 a year because their accountant didn’t know they could claim for their meals on the road or on-site. With RIFT, you can be sure that the taxman will never hang onto more of your money than he’s supposed to.Start for free >
Tax Rebate advice
How to claim tax back online
To get your tax back online you need to:
- Have your P800 calculation at hand
- Visit the HMRC website
- Sign in to your Government Gateway account
- Simply follow the instructions on screen
If your P800 tax calculation says you've been paying too much tax, it shouldn't be too hard to get it refunded. Without a P800, though, things get tricker. Basically, the taxman won't know you've overpaid so you'll need to prove it to him to get your refund. Again, talking to RIFT is the best way to get your tax back.Start for free >
Tax Refund Amount
How much will I get in my tax rebate?
For most people, the tax you get back comes to 20% of your essential work expenses. If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, obviously, you might get more since you’re paying more tax to begin with. Depending on your situation, you could get more – or possibly less. For example:
- You might already owe money to HMRC, including things like outstanding penalties.
- You might have paid too little tax because your tax code is wrong.
- Your work expenses might already be included in your tax code.
Refer A Friend
Extra cash for you and your mates
Help your mates get their tax refund and get extra cash in your own pocket!
At RIFT, we love it when happy customers tell their friends about us. In fact, we love it so much that we actually reward you for doing it!
We'll give you £50 for every friend you refer (T&Cs apply) that claims with us, plus we'll give you a £150 bonus when 5 people claim with us.
Simply tell us about your friend using our Refer a Friend form and we’ll get in touch to let them know you think they might have a claim.Refer Your Friends
How much does a tax refund cost?
- Tax refund if you're employed under PAYE: 28% of refund claimed + VAT (minimum fee £45+VAT).
- Tax refund with with tax return for self-employed (including CIS): £245 +VAT.
Start for free >
Tax Refund Legislation
What's the law about tax refunds?
People often wonder “Are tax refunds legal?” and the answer is 100% yes! Claiming a refund isn’t about “cheating the system”. Tax refunds ARE the system. RIFT takes the hassle, stress and risk of out of getting back the tax you’re owed, and always keeps you completely within the taxman’s rules.
Have a look at our full list of services and prices. It cost nothing to find out if you have a claim.
Uniform tax rebates
Can I claim back tax for cleaning any specialised clothes I use for work?
You can claim a uniform tax rebate if you have particular clothes that you have to wear for work. This counts for things like specialised clothing or items with company logos on them. You can’t claim a refund on your everyday clothing just because you wear it for work sometimes, though.
You’ve got 2 basic options for claiming this kind of refund. If you don’t mind a little legwork, you can keep receipts whenever you pay to clean or repair your work clothing. Treat your receipts like money – because that’s exactly what they’ll be when you make your claim.
If you don’t fancy the extra paperwork, you can use HMRC’s simplified Fixed Rate Expenses system. Basically, the taxman has taken an educated guess at what it costs to keep your work clothes in good condition. Rather than keeping precise receipts and crunching numbers when you dip into your pocket for repairs or laundry, you can just use HMRC's figures.Uniform Tax Rebates
Food Tax Rebates
Can I claim the cost of meals for my tax refund?
When you’re on the road for work, the cash you spend on food counts toward your tax refund claim. It’s definitely worth keeping records of it, too. A typical food tax rebate could easily be worth £250-£500 a year!
Obviously, you still have to be travelling to temporary workplaces for your food expenses to qualify for a refund. The taxman isn’t going to fork over cash for any old food you grab at the office. That said, if your food expenses qualify, it only takes a few basic records to make them pay off.
It’s more than just the tenner you’re spending at lunch that counts, as well. You should keep track of your daily costs for everything from your first cup of tea before you start to the afternoon snack you grabbed in your break. Those records could be receipts, mini-statements from cash machines or even photos of a menu board. When you’re claiming a tax refund, any information you can provide is helpful. HMRC isn’t going to try to swindle you, but you do have to back up your claims with evidence.Food Tax Rebates
Tax refunds for tools
I have to buy my own tools for work. Can I claim a tax refund?
Tools are another everyday work expense that too many people miss out on when they’re making a refund claim. The catch is that you can’t claim anything back for the initial purchase price. After that, though, any replacement or repair costs can become part of your claim.
As for what counts as an essential tool of your trade, some good examples might include:
- Scissors or clippers for hairdressers.
- Knives and kitchen apparatus for chefs and kitchen staff.
- Hand tools for electricians, carpenters, mechanics, etc.
Keep in mind that none of these expenses count for a tax refund if you’re not paying them yourself. If your employer’s footing the bills up-front or fully reimbursing you afterward, you’ll get nothing from HMRC for them.
Again, though, being your own boss changes everything. When you’re self-employed, a lot of the essential costs of doing your job count against the tax you owe on your profits. You sort all this out through the Self Assessment tax return system – which RIFT can always help you out with.Start for free >
Tax refunds for tools
I don't have all my receipts. Is there an easier way to claim them back?
Not everyone fancies the idea of hoarding receipts and proof of their spending. If that sounds like you, there’s another way to get tax relief on your work expenses. HMRC has set out what it calls "flat rate deductions" for various occupations. These let you claim fixed amounts for your costs instead of keeping detailed records.
Carpenters, for instance, can claim a flat rate tax deduction of £140 a year.
Obviously, HMRC hasn’t sat down and crunched numbers for literally every job that exists. However, even if they haven’t decided on a flat rate for what you do, you might still be able to get a standard £60 deduction. Talk to RIFT to see what your best option is, and find out how we can help.Start for free >
Tax Refund Experts
Looking after your tax rebate and you
Our 7 teams of dedicated tax refund specialists can deal with every aspect of your claim. As a RIFT customer, you'll have your own manager to prepare your claim, and you can contact them at any time in the tax year for updates on your claim’s progress. They’ll also be in touch to remind you of any important deadlines coming up.The Claim Process
HMRC Tax Refunds
Why can't I get a HMRC tax refund?
Not everyone qualifies for a tax refund – but that’s not actually bad news. Not having a refund claim simply means you’re already not paying too much in tax. For instance, maybe your employer’s already covering your travel expenses in full so you’ve got no out-of-pocket costs.
You might also find you can’t claim a refund because you’re outside the rules to qualify. A good example is people who only work in one location for a single employer. No temporary workplace basically means no travel tax refund.
Self-employed people who file Self Assessment tax returns should have all their work expenses handled through those. You can learn more about this on our Self Assessment tax returns and tax returns explained pages.
If you’re confused about what you qualify for, get in touch with RIFT. Let us know a little about yourself and we’ll quickly sort out what you can and can’t claim.Start for free >
Getting your earnings and tax information for your refund
What if I don't have complete pay and tax records for my claim?
While you don’t need a huge amount of paperwork to make a tax refund claim, there are a few things you can’t really do without. Information on your earnings and the tax you’ve paid is obviously crucial, so the best place to start is with your payslips.
These can be incredibly useful since they actually have a lot of information on them, including fiddly details like maternity and sick pay. You should also be able to see if your employer’s reimbursed you for any of your work expenses, which can make a big difference to your refund. Here's how to read your payslip.
How do I send my information?
How do I get my pay and tax information to RIFT?
Use your MyRIFT account to upload a copy of your payslips. If your payslips aren't digital, simply take a photograph of them and upload this instead. If you prefer, you can even send us your paper payslip by Freepost.
At the end of each tax year, you'll be sent a P60 form. This shows your total earnings and tax for the year. If you've got one of these, you can send it to us instead of your individual payslips.
How do I send my information?
Can I get the essential information online?
If you've already set up your Personal Tax Account on the HMRC website, you'll be able to get a lot of the information you need there.
I can't get this information
I can't get hold of the information I need for my refund claim!
Even without a lot of information, RIFT can still help with your tax refund claim. We can get in touch with HMRC, for example, and grab a lot of the most critical details from them. They’ll generally send the information to you, so you can forward it to us either digitally or by Freepost. With certain kinds of information, it’s even simpler because we can get it directly from HMRC ourselves over the phone. You’ll still need to be on the phone with us, though, since HMRC (and RIFT) are always very careful over your security.
Track my claim
Track your tax rebate claim with MyRIFT
Our Track My Claim tool is an ideal way to keep an eye on the progress of your refund. We built the system to match exactly what our customers told us they wanted, so it’s simple to use and gives you all the information you need in one place. You can even use Track My Claim to send us information and speed up your refund. From your first enquiry to your final payout it's all right at your fingertips with MyRIFT Track My Claim.
It really only takes a few quick answers to get your tax refund moving, and Track My Claim will guide you through the rest. Once your claim’s rolling, it’s like using a tracking number on a parcel. Whenever your claim reaches another milestone in its progression, you’ll get a notification, and any time you need to do anything to speed things along, it’ll let you know.Track My Refund
Need more help?
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RIFT Refunds, RIFT House, 200 Eureka Park,Upper Pemberton, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4AZ
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