Aftercare from RIFT
Child Benefit and High Income
HMRC's rules for claiming tax refunds can sometimes be tough to get to get to grips with. Even small misunderstandings or gaps in the information you give can lead to serious problems down the road. That's why RIFT works so closely with our clients throughout the whole claims process. If you get tripped up by a tricky piece of red tape, we'll always be there to catch you. Here's an example of how we take care of you when you hit a bump in the road:
One of our clients, working offshore in the oil and gas industry, got in touch to sort out his 2016 refund claim. He was spending a lot of time and money travelling between home and the airport in Aberdeen. We handled his claim for him via a tax return, and he got his money within 3 weeks of us submitting it.
In November 2016, HMRC sent us a letter about some Child Benefit they thought our client was getting. Since his earnings were over £50,000 for the tax year, he was being hit with the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). This charge basically cuts down the amount of Child Benefit you can get when you have a lot of money coming in. The more you earn, the less benefit you can claim.
We got in touch with the client the same day, and asked him whether or not the taxman had his facts straight. The client hadn't mentioned the Child Benefit, as his wife had been claiming it and he didn't realise it mattered. Unfortunately, even if you aren't claiming Child Benefit yourself, you can still get caught by the HICBC if you're the higher earner.
Although the charge did apply, we were able to talk our client through his options. His earnings for the year came to £55,000, so he was still entitled to some Child Benefit. We suggested that he continue to claim the benefit, but pay back the excess at the end of the tax year. When RIFT completed his next claim, the Child Benefit could then be included on the tax return. Of course, the travel expenses claim would then reduce the amount of money he owed to HMRC.