If you’ve heard the proposals floating around about a new UK National Space Programme (NSP), you’re probably already as excited as we are about the possibilities. The British space sector is a vast new area for businesses and individuals to explore – but don’t think you’ll be safe from the taxmans’ clutches out there. Even if your work takes you into Geosynchronous Orbit (about 37,000km straight up, door-to-door), HMRC’s still going to drag your finances right back down to Earth if you aren’t claiming your tax refunds.

When it comes to protecting your cash, RIFT always aims high. That’s why we’re delighted to announce the opening of our all-new Lunar offices in the craterous Ukert region between Mare Vaporum and Sinus Medii. Once the hydroponic facilities are up and running in the coming months, we’ll be sending our first batch of Orbital Tax Specialists to start work on those Low Earth Orbit tax refund claims. Our teams are fully trained and raring to go where no accountant has gone before.

As the UK space sector blasts off in earnest, we’re expecting demand for specialist help with LEO refunds to skyrocket, so make sure you get your paperwork in as early as possible. Keep in mind that virtually anywhere you work in orbit around the Earth will automatically be classified as a temporary workplace for tax purposes. You don’t even need to be flying your own rocket to qualify. If your travel costs aren’t entirely covered by your employer then you could have a claim. The Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP) set by HMRC allow you to claim back 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles you travel each year, followed by 25p per mile after that. At escape velocity, you’ll be hitting that 10,000-mile threshold within the first 24 minutes of travel – so keep those receipts handy.

If you’re in the unlucky position of commuting into orbit on a daily basis, and the station or moonbase you’re going to is a permanent workplace, then you can’t claim for the travel. However, any travelling you’re doing between satellites or installations during the day could still earn you a tax rebate. Have a chat with your RIFT Orbital Tax Specialist to find out what you qualify for.

Remember that the same rules apply in space as on solid ground. That means accommodation, food and equipment costs can all still contribute to your tax refund claim. Space suit laundry, Trace Gas Analyser repair and freeze-dried ice cream all cost money. If you’re reaching into your own pocket for any of these, you could be owed cash back.

While we’re on the subject of spacesuits and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) – it turns out that even in space you’re not safe from the infamous “pink tax”. 29% of UK women report that they’re stuck using PPE designed for men. Where specialised gear built for women is available, it’s often as much as 20% more expensive. NASA genuinely just had to cancel its first-ever all-female spacewalk because they only had one spacesuit in the right size ready to go!

If you’re in the neighbourhood, why not drop by the RIFT Lunar office for a chat about your orbital tax refund needs? You can’t miss us – we’re just northeast of the Pallas and Murchison craters. If you reach Triesnecker, you’ve missed the turning and need to double back toward the abandoned alien ruins.

RIFT are the UK's leading tax rebate and tax return experts, claiming tax back since 1999.