Military Tax refunds for Armed Forces personnel

Armed Forces or MOD personnel can claim military tax refunds against travel expenses for temporary postings of under 24 months, even outside the UK. Using either your own vehicle or public transport counts for your MOD tax relief claim and you can claim back any overpaid tax in the last 4 years.  The RIFT average 4-year rebate is £2,500 but the clock could be ticking on yours.  If you haven't already claimed your refund for 2013/14, now's the time.  If you leave it until the 6th April 2018, you've lost that cash forever!

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£2,500 - That's the average 4 year claim. Don't miss out!

RIFT Guarantee

Our guarantee means you'll never lose a penny

When you claim your MOD tax refund 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 and ask for the money back, we'll pay it.  It won't cost you a penny.

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MOD supports Armed Forces tax refunds

Despite what some have heard, Armed Forces tax rebate claims are completely within the HMRC tax refund rules. RIFT Refunds always knew this was true, and we fought hard to get the proof and provide this service to you. You can read the MOD letter to us for assurance that Armed Forces tax refunds are allowed, and find out more about MOD tax refunds here and throughout the MOD section of our site.

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HMRC Processing Time

How long does an MOD tax refund take?

  • It takes about 8-10 weeks for HMRC to process your MOD tax refund.
  • RIFT has 7 military claims specialists teams working hard to maximize your refund and get it to you fast.
  • The sooner you start your MOD tax relief claim and provide the information  we need, the sooner you get your cash back. Use our online refund calculator to get started.
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RIFT Armed Forces Tax Rebates

MOD Tax Refunds

What information do I need for an Armed Forces tax rebate?

MOD tax refunds can be complicated, but RIFT's experts in Forces travel and expenses make everything simple and stress-free.  All we need it the following to assess your MOD tax refund and then our award winning customer services team will process your claim:

  • List of bases you’ve attended - Copies of assignment orders are helpful here and are available from JPA. Be aware they are deleted after 60 days. You should also include any time spent on courses as this can be claimed for as well.
  • Monthly payslips – If you haven’t got all of your payslips, you can download them from the JPAC website.
  • Other supporting documents – If you can get them, MOT certificates, P60s and P45s can also help your claim. Don’t worry if you can’t provide these though, we can still reclaim your military tax refund without them.
  • Other information – We’ll ask you a few simple yes/no questions about your financial circumstances.  For instance, we'll ask if you have any other money coming in (like rental income), and whether you have a student loan or a private pension. The MOD accommodation rules may also have an impact so we will need to understand your living arrangements. This helps us calculate the value of tax you’ve overpaid.

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

We'll keep everything simple by setting up a free MyRIFT account for you.  MyRIFT lets you see and update all the key information needed for your claim, even if you're deployed overseas.  Accurate information is the key to getting the best from your refund - and getting it fast.  MyRIFT puts your claim on the fast track.

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Soldiers Charity

ABF The Soldiers' Charity and RIFT

The Soldiers’ Charity helps soldiers and their families to continue their lives and live them to the full. RIFT Tax Refunds are proud to be able to support this great cause that’s helped so many people over the years.

As corporate sponsors of The Soldiers’ Charity, we make donations as part of our Armed Forces Tax refund claims process.  In 2017, RIFT donated £37,293 to the charity and to date we've donated over £180,600.

ICS Service Mark

Award-winning customer service

We're known for our friendly, helpful and jargon-free approach to tax matters.  That's why we're the first company in the tax sector to be awarded ServiceMark by the Institute of Customer Service.

ServiceMark is a national, independently assessed standard recognising an organisation's commitment to customer service. We are both extremely proud and deeply honoured to offer this level of service to you.


Customer stories

"I claimed over £2,724 after my colleague told me about RIFT"

I joined the Army when I was 16 and heard about RIFT through a colleague at my barracks. I’ve travelled to quite a few different bases, including outside the UK, using my car and flights too. I called RIFT and they said I could claim for the past four years and get my money even quicker with their RIFT Rapid Refund service. They were easy to get in touch with over email and phone, and they let me know quickly how much I was owed. Before I knew it the cash was in my account! It was great to get back over £2,724 so quickly and now I’ve started telling my mates I’m getting money from referrals too.

Lee Smith, 22 Ex-Lance Corporal

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MOD Tax Refunds

Take Back What You're Owed

Since 1999 we've reclaimed over £53 million in military tax rebates for former and serving MOD personnel. We're the UK's MOD tax back experts and are proud to say that 92% of our Armed Forces customers would definitely recommend us to their friends and family. 

Tax Calculator

MOD Tax Refunds

What can I claim for as part of my HMRC tax refund?

In order to maximise the MOD tax relief you can claim, we may also be able to claim for the following on top of your Forces travel to temporary postings:

  • Mess dress. 
  • Food costs.
  • Travel to any training courses necessary for your job.

You can get an idea of how much you might be able to claim back by using our HMRC tax refund calculator. It takes less than a minute to complete and will gives you an instant estimate. With 4 simple questions to answer, it could be the most profitable minute of your week!

Tax Calculator

MOD Tax Refunds

Armed forces travel refund information

It doesn't matter which branch of the service you're in, you're still entitled to MOD tax relief from HMRC. The Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force can all claim military tax refunds for up to the last 4 years of  Forces travel they've done. Even if you've left the Armed Forces, you can still get tax back for travel to temporary postings.

In the Armed Forces, travel tax rebates have often been a touchy subject. RIFT fought hard with HMRC and the MOD to clear up the bad information and get Forces Mileage Claims back on the table. Even if you're already getting a travel refund at the Motor Mileage Allowance rate, you could still be owed money.

For instance, let's assume you're getting an MMA allowance of 20p per mile travelled. For temporary postings that qualify for an Armed Forces travel refund, HMRC says you should get:

  • 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles travelled.
  • 25p per mile after that.

The MMA rate is actually lower than HMRC's own Approved Mileage Allowance payment rates. Assuming you're travelling to a temporary posting of under 24 months, you're likely to be covered by HMRC's travel refund rules. This means you could claim a Forces travel refund based on the difference between the AMAP and MMA rates.

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Complex Travel Journeys

How much information do you need about the journeys I'm making?

When we're working out the full amount of MOD tax relief you're entitled to, the more information we have the better. MOD travel can get pretty complicated, with several legs to your journeys when you're posted overseas. Wherever possible, tell us about every stage of your travel to and from your base. When it comes to claiming back everything the taxman owes you, the little details can really make a difference.

For example, suppose you were posted to Bad Fallingbostel back in the 2014-15 tax year, before the base was closed. Let's say you were living in Ashford, Kent at the time. The journey to your posting might look something like:

  • Driving about 23 miles to Dover.
  • Taking the ferry from Dover to Calais.
  • Driving or taking public transport for close to 450 miles from Calais to the base in Bad Fallingbostel.

You might expect claiming a tax refund in Germany would be a nightmare. Every leg of that journey adds to your total travel costs. Not only are you burning fuel on the land sections, but you've also shelled out for the ferry costs. The cost of international travel can also vary considerably at different times of the year, or even different times of the day.

When you come to make your MOD tax refund claim, HMRC are going to want every detail you can give them. That's why it's so important to keep good records.

Without receipts or other evidence, it can be tough to get the taxman to part with your cash. If HMRC select your claim for a spot-check enquiry, we need to be able to prove when, where and how you travelled.

Of course, with MyRIFT, those crucial details are simple to track and update, wherever you are in the world. Just fill in the costs you're paying as you go and we'll use them to build a complete picture of what HMRC owes you.

MOD Tax Refunds

Do I need to keep my Assignment Orders?

Yes! These are very important as we need to have documentary evidence to support your military tax refund claim.

Make sure you keep a copy of each of your Assignment Orders for each base that you have travelled to.  You can print these from JPA but please note these are deleted after 60 days.  

See our checklist of the documents you will need to make a claim.  We can help you get copies of anything that you are missing, if needed.

Checklist Document

Specialist Team

Armed Forces Team

RIFT's Armed Forces team includes many former MOD personnel. They know the difficulties of life in the service and understand the demands it places on you. The MOD has very specific rules about Armed Forces tax rebate claims, but our specialists are always right on top of them. They're here all year round, whenever they're needed. They know that MOD travel claims can be extremely complex, often featuring cross-border travel. Your time is incredibly valuable, and RIFT's Armed Forces teams can help you maximise that value.

Use our free online tax refund calculator for an instant estimate of what you could claim.

Keeping records

How should I record my expenditure for my fuel tax rebate?

To claim a HMRC tax rebate for your MOD travel expenses, you're going to need to keep good records. One of the best ways to do this is with a log book, which you can get from RIFT. Once you've got your book, make a point of recording in it all the miles you're travelling on MOD business.  It's important to be systematic and specific when keeping your records. You'll be glad you were when your refund rolls in.

It's also vital that you understand which of your journeys count for your fuel tax rebate and which don't. You can talk to RIFT to make sure you've got it straight.

When you're heading out it's a good idea to make a note of the mileage on your vehicle's clock. Do the same when you get where you're going and keep your logs up to date. 

If you prefer keeping your records online instead of in an easily misplaced book, you can do so via MyRIFT. Alternatively, to keep things simple, just keep notes of the postcodes or addresses of the places you've worked and we'll do the calculations for you.

Refer A Friend

Extra cash for you and your mates

Help your mates get a tax rebate and get an extra £50 in your own pocket! At RIFT, we love it when happy clients tell their friends about us.

We love it so much that we reward you for doing it! To say thank you we'll give you £50 for everyone you recommend (T&Cs apply) who claims with us, but we'll give you a bonus of an extra £150 if 5 people do.

That's £400 in your pocket as well as the warm glow you get from helping out your mates. 

Refer Your Friends Now

Refer a Friend

Get started

Simply enter your friend’s name and email address on our referral form, and we’ll send them a one off email to let them know you think RIFT tax refunds could help them.

  • If they get in touch and claim a refund, we’ll send you a £50 reward for your help.
  • And for every 5 you send that claim, you get an extra £150 bonus. 

Ask us any questions on Facebook, Livechat or call us on 01233 628648.

MOD Tax Refunds

Can I claim a UK tax refund if I'm posted overseas?

Just like anyone else, you're entitled to a UK tax refund for travel expenses to and from temporary workplaces. If you're making your own way from a UK residence, you could have a pretty big refund on your hands. Watch out, though - if your family has moved abroad with you, then your main residence might be outside the UK. In that case, you can't claim for your travel costs.

Find out everything you need to know about paying UK tax if you work overseas on our site or get in touch.

Do I Qualify?

MOD Tax Refunds

What can I reclaim tax for?

If you've been using your own vehicle or public transport, you could be owed tax back.

  • An average refund runs around £600-£800 per year.
  • Travel to bases outside the UK counts too.
  • You might even be able to claim for Mess Dress.

You can get an idea of what you might be able to claim back from our HMRC Tax calculator. It takes less than a minute to complete and gives you an instant estimate.

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Food Tax Refunds

Can MOD Personnel claim a tax refund for meals?

Yes, meals are allowed as expenses when you're posted to a temporary base - and they're absolutely worth claiming. An average MOD tax refund claim typically includes £250 from meal expenses alone each year. Claiming back your meal costs could boost your tax refund by 35%, which stacks up to about £12,000 over your working life! Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you pay directly in the Cookhouse or Mess, you're probably paying in cash and might have trouble getting receipts. Make sure you keep a record anyway. Even a photo of the price board will go a long way toward proving what you've spent.
  • If you’re an officer you probably have the option to get an expenses receipt at the end of the month. You can either keep that or take a photo of it. You should also be able to ask for copies of them from your administration department if needed.
  • If you’re part of the Hungry Soldier Scheme, the cost is taken directly out of your salary in arrears. This should be visible on your payslips.

Exactly what you can claim for will depend on your circumstances. There are specific rules about married quarters and Substitute Living Single Accommodation, for example. Talk to RIFT to find out exactly what you qualify for.

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MOD Commitment Bonus

What's an MOD Commitment bonus?

If you've completed a set number of years in the service as a non-commissioned regular, you might qualify for a Commitment Bonus. The bonus scheme you're on will depend on the date you joined up. Generally, you can choose to take your bonus either in stages or as a lump sum later on. The longer you wait, the more you stand to get. As always, there are a few hoops to jump through to get your bonus - and some tax implications to think about, since it can bump your year's income up quite a bit.

After the 1st of April 2021, the whole Commitment Bonus system's coming to an end, so make the most of it while you can!

MOD Commitment Bonus

Does my Commitment Bonus affect my MOD tax refund?

Not automatically, no. There's a common misconception that Commitment Bonuses are tax deductible and that you can claim something back for them. Sadly, that's just not true. However, that doesn't mean the taxman isn't interested in your bonus at all. In HMRC's eyes it still counts as income, and so they'll still want to get their bite of it.

Now for the slightly more complicated bit. Depending on your basic salary, your Commitment Bonus could theoretically boost you into a higher tax bracket for the year. That might be a little painful, but it could make a difference to the tax you can claim back. If you go over the threshold, it's possible you might get some of your refund at the higher 40% rate instead of the basic 20% one. Whatever the case is, RIFT will steer you right to make sure you get back everything you're entitled to.

MOD Tax Rebates

Can Reservists and Territorial Army personnel claim?

To get a tax refund, HMRC says you need to be travelling to temporary workplaces. Reservists and Territorial Army personnel tend to spend most of their service in one place, which wouldn't qualify and is an example of when you wouldn't be able to claim an MOD tax refund.

That said, your circumstances might be different from most. Get in touch if you want us to look into it for you. It costs you nothing to find out where you stand. Use our tax calculator to get a estimate of how much your tax refund could be worth. It takes less than a minute to complete.

Find out if you need to complete a HMRC Self Assessment Tax Return or if you can claim Flat Rate Expenses.

How it works

Find out if you're due a refund.

Use our tax refund calculator to find out what you're owed.

Get refunds for your mates and earn extra cash.

Find out more about RIFT.

Tax Advice

Will my tax code change?

Your tax code represents the amount of money you can earn tax free so it’s important that it’s correct. Who wants to pay too much tax? Or worse still, get a bill from the tax man because you haven’t paid enough?

A higher tax code means you can earn more money before you start paying tax, so you’ll pay less tax over the year. However, tax refunds are hardly ever the same two years running, so if your claim is smaller, you won’t have paid enough tax and you’ll owe money to HMRC.

Your payslip should have your tax code on it. HMRC may tell your employer to use a higher tax code after you’ve claimed your tax rebate because they assume you will be eligible for this tax relief next year – but you may not be. It all depends on how much travel you do. If your pay changes unexpectedly then get in touch with RIFT and we will make sure your tax code is correct, it's all part of our aftercare service.

Many people are worried about tax codes because they sound much more difficult than they actually are. We're here to help, though, and there's more information on our HMRC tax codes explained pages.


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Service Leavers

Leaving the service? RIFT still has your back

RIFT understands that a life after the Armed Forces can be every bit as challenging as the one you're leaving behind. We work with former MOD personnel every day, many of them recent service leavers. From claiming tax refunds to starting their own businesses, we help them find their way and make it pay. Whatever future you're planning after the service, whether it's in security, construction, healthcare or offshore work, keep talking to RIFT.

Tax rebates aren't unique to MOD personnel, of course. Let us know what you're moving onto and we'll show you how to get back the tax you're owed. Most importantly, if you haven't already claimed your refunds for your time in the Armed Forces, the clock is ticking. You can claim back cash from the taxman for your work travel, along with a range of other essential expenses, for up to 4 years. A typical MOD refund can easily stack up to £600-£800. If you're claiming for the maximum 4 years, that's up to £3,200 of your own money back in your pocket! Phone or email RIFT to make sure you don't miss out.

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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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, RIFT House, 200 Eureka Park,Upper Pemberton, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4AZ

Call us on 01233 628648


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