Reviewed by Ryan Carman ATT, Head of Operations at RIFT Tax Refunds

Taxes. An unavoidable reality, but what if they're costing you more than they should? If you’ve ever wondered ‘Am I owed a tax rebate?’, you’re not alone. Thousands of people are due tax rebates every year, but the process can seem both daunting and time consuming. In 2023, it was found that 600,000 people had not cashed their income tax rebate cheques, totalling a staggering £217 million! During these tough economic times, that lost money could make a real difference for many.

At RIFT, we’re here to help you claim back the tax rebate you deserve. This guide simplifies the process, showing you how to easily navigate the system and potentially put extra cash back in your pocket. Here, we’ll explore how it works, what you can claim for, and if you’re eligible. Let’s get started:

Am I due a tax rebate?

Whether you qualify for a tax rebate depends on your specific financial situation and expenses. But many people are eligible without realising it.

Put simply, if you’ve paid too much tax within a year, you can claim some of it back. This commonly happens if you have multiple jobs or have changed jobs during the tax year. Retirees, pensioners, and unemployed individuals can also qualify if too much tax has been paid.
Even if you’re an employee paid via PAYE, where your employer handles income tax deductions, you could still pay too much tax, for instance if you’ve been issued the wrong tax code or you haven’t claimed back on eligible expenses.

Work-related expenses that you can claim back tax for include:

  • Work travel: This includes mileage for your own vehicle, toll fees, congestion charges and parking, as well as public transport fares.
  • Food and accommodation costs: When you’re travelling for work, you can claim a tax refund for any meals and temporary accommodation during the trip.
  • Professional costs: If you have any professional subscriptions or licenses that are essential for your work, you can include these in your claim. Likewise, if you belong to a trade union, you can claim on your fees.
  • Repair, replacement and laundry: Uniform maintenance such as laundry, essential tools and equipment are all eligible for a tax rebate from HMRC.
  • Training and education: If you’re paying for training that’s essential for your role, you can claim the tax back.

Using RIFT's tax rebate calculator takes just minutes. Answer a few quick questions about your tax status, income, and expenses over the last year. You'll instantly see if you qualify for a potential rebate. If eligible, RIFT's tax experts can help you prepare and submit your claim with HMRC.

How can I get a tax rebate?

If you receive a tax calculation letter (P800) from HMRC, telling you that you’re owed a refund, the letter will explain how to claim it.

If your P800 says you can claim online, you’ll need your Government Gateway user ID number and password to do it. Either head to HMRC online or download the HMRC app. If you don't have a Government Gateway account, you’ll need to create one. To do this, have your National Insurance number and postcode handy, along with two of the following:

  • Valid UK passport
  • UK photocard driving licence issued by the DVLA or DVA
  • Recent payslip (last 3 months) or P60 from your employer for the last tax year
  • Tax credit claim details, if you’ve made a claim
  • Self Assessment return details, if you’ve submitted one
  • Credit information such as loans, mortgages or credit cards

Once claimed, the refund will be sent to your bank account within 5 working days. If this is still unclaimed after 21 days, HMRC will post a cheque arriving within 6 weeks from the date on your P800 letter.

If HMRC states in your P800 that they’ll post a rebate cheque to you, you don't need to do anything. It should arrive within 14 days from the letter's date, and if you’re owed taxes for multiple years, you'll receive it all in one sum.

Here’s where things get a little more complicated. If you don’t have a P800 letter, you must manually file a tax rebate claim. The best way to do this is by contacting RIFT to see what you can potentially claim, or use our tax rebate calculator to receive an estimate. You’ll then need to sign a few forms to let us speak to HMRC on your behalf. Once that’s done, we’ll work with you to prepare all the necessary info for your claim. Even if you’re missing certain paperwork, we’ll track them down. We’ll even help you work out any work travel expenses.

When you’re happy with your tax rebate claim, we’ll submit it to HMRC for you and we’ll keep chasing until you get the refund you’re owed.

Tips for maximising your tax rebate

When you submit your tax rebate claim, there are a few things you can do to ensure you receive the full amount you’re due. Here are our top tips:

Track your work expenses: We know, it’s not fun. But keeping track any time you pay for something work-related from your own pocket will pay dividends at the end of the tax year. Keep detailed on any mileage or travel costs, work equipment, licenses, fees, uniforms, training, etc. Apps like quickbooks help automate expense tracking and save bundles of time.

Look back at multiple tax years: In some cases, taxpayers may be owed a refund for more than one year. You can often claim rebates for up to 4 previous tax years, so it’s worth reviewing records this far back to spot potential unclaimed expenses.

Double check your tax code: If tax codes are entered incorrectly by employers, you may overpay income tax. Verify your tax code each year and with every new job. Report any errors immediately.

Gather receipts and proof: Have invoices, bank statements, mileage logs, and other documentation ready to give weight to your claim. Missing evidence can often cause delays or even result in a claim being rejected. Personal Tax Team Leader, Benjamin Kilgariff at RIFT Refunds says:

Don't worry if you don’t have all your receipts, the alternative is to use HMRC Flat rate deductions system which sets out fixed amounts that you can claim. The rebate amounts depend on the work you do but, obviously enough, not every possible kind of job has its own flat rate deduction worked out. Even so, if HMRC hasn’t settled on a specific figure for yours, you might still be able to get a standard £60 deduction.

Avoid common errors: Incomplete forms, missing signatures, no supporting documents, inaccurate details, missed deadlines, and incorrect contact information will all hinder your chance of making a successful tax rebate claim. Be sure you’ve provided as much information as possible before submitting your claim.

Get expert help: Filing a complex claim yourself risks making costly mistakes. RIFT's tax specialists seamlessly handle everything on your behalf for maximum, fast refunds.

Getting back money that's rightfully yours provides financial relief, especially during a cost-of-living crisis. With hundreds or even thousands hanging in the balance, properly filing a tax rebate claim is crucial, yet complex.

As we've mentioned, you may qualify for a substantial payout if you've overpaid income taxes or incurred job-related expenses without reimbursement from your employer. But navigating the rebate process solo risks delays, rejection, or lost refunds if any errors arise.

That's why partnering with reputable experts pays. RIFT removes all the legwork handling everything on your behalf, while maximising the total you receive and the speed in which it arrives.

Don't leave hard-earned money on the table. Speak to RIFT today to see if you have a tax rebate waiting!