Tax refunds for security workers

Workers in the security industry who travel to different workplaces could well be owed a tax refund. If your employer doesn't pay you the full allowance that you're entitled to for expenses like travel, your SIA licence or uniform costs, then you could be due a tax rebate.

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Security tax refunds

Information you need for a security tax refund

We need the following information to assess your tax refund and hopefully process your claim:

  • A list of the all places you've travelled to work - This is the most important thing. We'll also need to know how long you worked at each one. We don't need the exact dates and locations but try to give as much detail as you can.
  • Receipts for expenses (if you have them) - This can include laundry costs for your uniform and the application and renewal fees for your SIA licence if you pay for these at your own expense.
  • Contract of employment - However many you have had during the period you are claiming for.
  • Copy of your photo ID - Driving licence or passport.
  • Proof of address - Utility bills or bank statements.
  • Wage slips - From April 2015 onwards.
  • Other supporting documents - MOT certificate for your vehicle, P60 end of year certificates from 2015 onwards or P45s from 2015 (if you have any).

You will also be required to set up a Personal Tax Account.  It's free and you'll be able to see everything to do with your tax, including all information from employers, banks and building societies and other government departments all in one place. 

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HMRC Timescales

How long does it take to get a security tax refund?

It takes 8-10 weeks for HMRC to process your security tax rebate.We have a team of 7 dedicated specialists teams who work hard to maximise your refund and get it to you fast.  The sooner you start your claim and provide the information we need, the sooner we get your cash back.

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Security Tax Refunds

Can security workers claim a tax refund?

If you are security worker, then yes you may well be due a tax rebate if your employer does not pay your travel expenses and you use your own vehicle or public transport. You might also be able to claim for other expenses; the food you eat, your uniform, your SIA licence and hotel stays can all qualify. That's why it's definitely worth checking if you're owed money via our tax refund calculator. It takes less than a minute to complete and gives you an instant estimate of your refund value. If you're self-employed, you can even claim a rebate through your self-assessment tax return too.

Security Tax Refunds

How do I start my security worker claim?

Getting your security worker tax rebate claim started is simple. Just answer a few questions and we'll quickly let you know if you're owed a refund on your tax. With your information in hand, we'll chase HMRC until your money's back in your own pocket. You can tell us what we need to know for your security worker tax refund by post, phone or online, so there's no hassle to contend with. All you need to do is wait for your cheque to arrive in the post!

Security tax refunds

What is an SIA licence?

The Security Industry Authority regulates security work in the UK. It's designed to make sure that people working in the industry have the right qualifications and training to do the job. If you want to work in security, the law says you need an SIA licence. To get one, you have to do SIA training, take some courses and pass some exams. Depending on what you do, you might need some First Aid training as well. If you're caught working security without a licence, you're looking at up to £5,000 in fines, and maybe even some prison time!

SIA Licence

I work in security. Do I need to apply for an SIA licence?

In most cases, if you've got a job in security, you need an SIA licence. This is true even if you're a self-employed security officer or not working on the front line. The main areas the SIA deals with are:

  • Manned guarding, covering everything from close protection and door supervision through to public space surveillance and security guard work.
  • Vehicle immobilisation, restriction and removal.
  • Key holding.

On top of this, the SIA's authority is currently being expanded to cover private investigations, security consultation and precognition agents.

SIA Licence

How much does a SIA Licence cost?

The SIA Licence costs £220. It's like a driving test fee; you have to pay it even if you don't get your licence. You pay the fee when you apply for the licence, although occasionally your employer might pay it for you. If your application is rejected, you can appeal the decision inside 21 days. You'll need a pretty good reason why you think they've made a mistake though.

Private Investigator

I'm a private investigator. Do I need an SIA licence?

As things stand now, you don't need an SIA licence to be a private investigator. However, after an announcement made by the Home Secretary back in 2013, that's set to change. What this means is that some time during this parliament, SIA rules are going to expand.  When that happens, private investigators will be in the same boat as other security workers. To give you some advance warning, the Home Office defines the new kinds of PI work to be covered by SIA as:

  • Obtaining information about a particular person or about the activities or whereabouts of a particular person.
  • Obtaining information about the circumstances in which, or means by which, property has been lost or damaged.

Tax Rebates For Security

SIA licence tax refunds

Whether you're a self employed security officer or a full-time security guard, tax refunds are available for your SIA licence.  Remember that your licence is normally reviewed every 3 years, and if you've forgotten to claim in previous years, it may not be too late.

Example: Stuart is employed as a security inspector, and is claiming a tax refund for his work related expenses. He's claiming for:

  • Travel to temporary workplaces.
  • Laundry costs for his work uniform.
  • The application and renewal fees for his SIA licence.

The security officer tax refund rules allow Stuart to claim tax back on expenses over the last 4 years. Those 4 years cover both the initial £220 application fee and the £220 extra he paid to renew it 3 years later.

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Uniform Tax Refunds

I work in security. Can I claim a tax refund on my uniform costs?

Security work often comes with specific clothing and safety gear requirements. If you're paying from your own pocket for the upkeep of your uniform or gear, you can claim a tax rebate on your uniform costs too. What you can claim for depends on the work you do and what you're spending money on.

If you're employed through the PAYE system in security, you can make expenses claims based on:

  • The cost of cleaning, repairing or replacing work clothes.
  • The cost of cleaning, repairing or replacing your essential safety gear.

The key word here is "essential". The only expenses you can claim for are ones that are absolutely necessary for your job. If you wear a jacket with a company logo on it, it will probably count. Taking the t-shirt you drove to work in to the laundry won't.

You can't generally claim for any initial purchase costs for clothing, either. However, keeping it in good condition and replacing it when it's worn out can often be valid expenses.

When you're self-employed, you've got a whole different set of rules about what you can claim for. Again, though, it always comes down to the essential costs of doing your work. The difference when you're your own boss is that even the initial purchase costs count against your tax bill.

However you work, it needn't take a huge amount of paperwork to claim your uniform or clothing expenses. If you don't fancy tracking your spending and keeping receipts, there's a simpler option. Self-employed people can use the "simplified expenses" system for many kinds of work costs. Instead of keeping detailed records, you can just claim a set amount. Similarly, employed people can use a "flat rate deduction" to claim without a lot of bookkeeping. You probably won't make the most of your refund like this, but it can help make things easier. Talk to RIFT if you're not sure what your best option is.

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Tax returns

Tax returns and self assessment tax returns with RIFT

What is a tax return and how much tax do I owe? A common question and there are a few ways to work out how much tax you should be paying. If you're employed then tax will be taken from your salary by your employer using your tax code. If you have other sources of income, though, you may have calculations to make to work out your tax return. If you file self assessment tax returns then tax returns can be difficult to get right and dangerous to get wrong.

If you are now self-employed then you should get yourself registered as self-employed as soon as possible after you start trading. The deadline's the 5th of October in the year you started your self-employment. Miss that, and you're risking self assessment tax return penalties based on the potential lost tax. However, with RIFT on your side we can ensure that your tax returns are in safe hands.

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RIFT Guarantee

Our guarantee means you'll never lose a penny

When you claim your security tax rebate with RIFT, our unique RIFT Guarantee means that you don't have to worry about the taxman reclaiming any of your money.  So long as you give us full and accurate information, if HMRC disagrees with the amount that we've claimed back, we'll pay it.  It won't cost you a penny.

RIFT Guarantee

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 clients tell their friends about us. We love it so much that we’re rewarding 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.

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Need more help?

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.

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