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Tax Rebate for Teachers’ and Lecturers’ Book Expenses

As a leading teacher tax rebate service we are often asked if tax relief can be claimed back on the cost of books bought for work.

If you teach at GCE A level and above, you can make a rebate claim for the full cost of any books you have bought to use at work. HMRC calls this, “for use in the performance of the duties of employment”. They consider that below this level any books are usually supplied by the school or college.

However, if you look further into HMRC’s definition of “duties of employment”, it is possible for other teachers to submit a legitimate claim. This definition is specified as 3 things;


  1. Books that pupils can use.
  2. Books used by the teacher during lessons.
  3. Books used by the teacher in the preparation of lessons.


Warning note: Item number 3 is the most difficult to prove as it clashes with another of HMRC’s rules which states that “books used for general maintenance or improvement of the teacher’s knowledge” is NOT deductible.


It’s always a good idea to keep receipts or proof of purchase of what you have bought for any future tax rebate claims.

What else can I claim for?

At the same time of claiming for books you can include other costs like professional fees into the NUT or NASUWT, and specialist clothing for example sports kit used to take pupils for PE lessons.

Tax Rebate Services has been helping Teachers, Lecturers and other Education professionals claim tax rebates for many years. Our service can help you claim back the maximum rebate possible meaning you don’t miss out and only claim back legitimate expenses.

Tony Shanks

HMRC Can Take Up To £17,000

In proposed changes HMRC have been given increased powers to take back the tax money they are owed – directly from your salary.

Currently the limit that can be reclaimed is £3000 per tax year but this is set to change next April to £17,000. The amount they can take back will depend on your salary and will increase the more you earn. The £3,000 limit will remain for those earning less than £30,000, but will rise to the new £17,000 ceiling for tax payers earning £90,000 or more.

This is an additional power to the earlier announced right to take tax owed from your bank or building society account, joint accounts and even ISA’s.

The payments will be normally spread over a 12 months period and not taken back all at once.

Yesterday Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said: ‘This is another creeping of HMRC’s powers, which are skewed in favour of themselves and away from the taxpayers. HMRC is becoming a more confrontational and all-powerful organisation.’

An HMRC spokesman said: ‘Taxpayers welcome the option to have tax debt collected by instalments. This is a long-standing feature of the payroll system and the increase in the threshold will allow more tax debts to be paid in this way.’

HMRC will be targeting people who owe £1000 or more and who they have contacted at least four times.

Tony Shanks

Healthcare Worker Tax Rebate Story

Mrs Davies has been a district nurse for over 10 years. After a colleague of hers used Tax Rebate Services to claim back a healthcare worker tax rebate worth over £400, she contacted us to see how we could help her.

When emailing us Mrs Davies only thought she would be entitled to a uniform tax rebate, but after one email and one quick phone call we found out she could claim for using her own car for work when travelling to her clients, and Union fees into UNISON.

On hearing the good news she returned our easy forms claim forms and some information about her mileage. In a little over 10 weeks Mrs Davies got a healthcare worker tax rebate cheque of £1050.

For the future we told Mrs Davies to keep all mileage records and receipts for any food and refreshments she buys whilst out on the road visiting her clients. Not knowing an additional claim can be made for food and refreshments she’s keeping receipts which can be added to her mileage claim next year – meaning more money in her pocket.

The experience Mrs Davies had shows that checking what you can claim for is always the best option. It makes sure you don’t miss out on what you are legitimately entitled to.

Health workers tax rebate reasons

We’ve been trusted by Healthcare workers to claim their tax rebates for over 12 years. Using this experience and professional knowledge we’ve listed below some of the common reasons why a healthcare worker can claim a tax refund.

  • Uniform washing
  • Using your own car or public transport to travel to temporary workplaces
  • Food and refreshments if you travel to different places of work
  • Union and professional fees
  • Equipment bought for work like a lap top

Are you the next Mrs Davies?

“I got in touch because my colleague told me about you and she got a tax rebate for laundering her own uniform, so I thought I would try it. You talked me through what I could claim for, and I got the forms the next day. My tax refund was for washing my uniform, UNISON fees but got more than I thought I would because I use my own car to visit clients in the community which I didn’t know I could claim for!”
Mrs Davies, Healthcare Worker, Received £1050 tax rebate

Contact us today to find out what you can reclaim

Tony Shanks

Have You Changed Address? Tell HMRC

If you’ve changed address it’s best to let HMRC know as soon as you can. At Tax Rebate Services we come across many client’s who haven’t got correspondence that was sent to them by HMRC because they never told HMRC they had moved.

It’s important to tell HMRC to make sure you get anything that is posted to you. You don’t want to miss out on your new notice of coding or Self Assessment tax return reminder. This type of information needs to be checked by you, to keep you up to date and to ensure you don’t pay too much income tax.

How do I change my address?

Nowadays it’s really easy you can call HMRC, write to them or fill in an online form here The online HMRC change of address form is quick and easy so shouldn’t take you too long to complete. If you have changed your name you can do this online as well.

If you are in Self Assessment you can amend your address using your online Self Assessment account.

It’s looked upon as your responsibility to keep your personal information up to date. If you miss an important reminder that was sent to an old address (and you didn’t let HMRC know about it) the blame will lie with you.

Tony Shanks

CIS Subcontractors are targets for dodgy tax advisers

If you are a CIS subcontractor you’ll probably know that it’s normal to be owed a tax rebate after the tax year ends. This is because your tax return shows that, based on your income and expenses, your final tax and class 4 National Insurance liability is less than the 20% tax deducted from your income.

As it is common for CIS subcontractors to be entitled to tax refunds, you have become targets for unethical advisers. As their fee is often a percentage of the final tax refund it is in their best interests to secure the highest refund possible – regardless of honesty. These advisers may try to secure a higher CIS tax refund by including non tax-deductible expenses or even entirely imaginary expenses on your tax return. For example, mortgage interest on a domestic mortgage or accommodation and travel costs for private travel from home to a permanent office. Neither of which are allowable business expenses.


The buck stops with you

By law, you are responsible for the actions of your accountant. It could well be twelve months down the line before HMRC come looking to reclaim their money. A fake claim is fraud and you must repay the CIS tax refund or potentially face bankruptcy. It has been reported that when HMRC comes knocking, the tax advisors have bolted their door and moved to a different area to set up shop. Or, in their words, are suddenly “unavailable”. Although you may well have legal rights to pursue such firms, they rarely have the correct insurance to repay you.


Be careful what you sign

Some firms will ask you to sign a particular authorisation on submitting your tax return which allows the money to be paid straight to your accountant. They then deduct their fee and pass on the rest of the refund to their client. In some cases this is perfectly legitimate and protects the firm from doing work that they may not get paid for.

But exploitative companies use this clause alongside their knowledge to rip off their clients. As many clients are not aware of the possible amount due, they happily accept any amount passed on by the firm. Therefore they are unknowingly accepting over-priced fees or losing the entire amount of their legitimate tax refund! There have even been cases of firms submitting tax returns and receiving rebates from HMRC without their clients’ knowledge. Over years of tax-paying employment this could be £20,000 that you do not get back into your pocket.


No-one wants to pay too much or too little tax and it is your responsibility to make sure your finances are in order. If you employ an accountant to get you through the mass of rules and paperwork, you need to check this list of warning signs now:

  • There are no letters or emails recording the advice you are given. Everything is either face-to-face or on the phone.
  • You do not have a copy of your own tax return.
  • You have a copy of your tax return but income amounts are not correct or you do not recognise some of the expenses listed.
  • No-one has asked you for any receipts to support any part of your claim.
  • The firm as not sent you a basic letter confirming what service they are providing for you and their price structure.
  • The company touts itself as the one who gets the “biggest refunds”, or a mate recommends them because they always get a “big refund”. The principled company’s aim is to get you the correct refund – size is not the most important thing here.
  • Your advisers are not registered with the correct accountancy or tax professional body. These bodies ensure that their members hold the correct qualifications and regulate the industry. So, you know that they know what they are doing and have somewhere to go if you are unhappy with their service.


The final point in this list is an easy one to check. Here are the main professional bodies in the UK which govern the accountancy industry.

  • Association of Accountancy Technicians
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

It’s always best to double check who you are dealing with to make sure everything is above board.

Tony Shanks



Am I Due Tax Relief For Work Expenses?

If your employed you should be asking yourself if you’re entitled to tax relief on your work expenses.

You might know people who are claiming tax relief for their work expenses but this doesn’t necessarily mean you will be owed one, but it’s definitely worth checking. You might incur expenses because of your job that you didn’t know tax relief could be claimed on.

The bad news

Unfortunately, there are very specific and tightly controlled rules for tax relief on employees’ expenses.  There are only two criteria within which you can make a claim;

  1. You, the employee, has to pay the expenses in order to do the job.
  2. The expense is only for and essential to the duties of your employment.

HMRC would expect that every employee in the same role would incur the same work expenses. They do not see it as possible that it could be one employee and not another if they are both in the same job.

If an expense is not reimbursed by an employer, it becomes increasingly difficult to argue that it is a necessary cost of the job.

The good news

HMRC usually grant tax relief for the following work expenses;

  • Subscriptions to professional bodies
  • Cleaning your own uniform or protective clothing
  • Using your own car for business journeys
  • Cost of accommodation and subsistence
  • Working from home - if your contract specifies that this is a requirement of your employment.

‘Fixed rate’ deductions

Some jobs have agreed ‘fixed rate’ tax deductions with HMRC. These cover things like uniforms and tools.

If your claim is for no more than £2,500 you make a claim through correspondence. If your expenses come to more than £2,500 then you need to submit a self assessment tax return.

Potential pitfalls of making a claim for work expenses

  • Unscrupulous firms which use “big refunds” as their main selling point, are making their “big” money through false claims for items that are not tax allowable. This ends up with you being stuck with the original bill from HMRC, plus interest and penalties.
  • Submitting a self assessment tax return is joining a process with its own rules. Some of these rules come with penalties. For example, the late submission of your tax return always results in a fine. If you do not want to make expenses claims through the self assessment tax return system any more, you must apply to HMRC and have yourself taken out of it. Otherwise you will continue to receive tax return demands and an ostrich approach to those can cost you £1,600 in non-refundable penalties plus an estimated tax demand.

Our service can help you claim back your full entitlement in a hassle free and legitimate way. Get in touch with us today to get your claim started.

Tony Shanks


Claim Tax Relief on IMI fees

Did you know that as a mechanic you are entitled to claim 100% tax relief on your IMI fees?

Lot’s of mechanics and vehicle technicians are a member of the Institute of the Motoring Industry. It’s the professional association for people working in the retail motor industry. It helps promote professional standards and gives a voice to it’s members.

The IMI and HMRC have agreed that tax relief can be claimed on the cost of it’s membership. You can even back date a claim for the last 4 tax years.

Once you have made your first claim, you will get a new tax code. This means that you will pay less tax for all the future years that you are a member.

Can mechanics claim a tax rebate for anything else?

Yes, you can! For example;

  • Washing your own protective clothing
  • Membership of any other professional bodies
  • The purchase of tools and equipment for work use

How do I make a claim?

Tax Rebate Services specialises in helping mechanics claim tax relief for IMI fees and any other work related expenses. You don’t need to do any of the heavy paperwork. We ensure that you claim for everything you are entitled to using an easy, hassle-free process.

We are a professional company. Tax Rebate Services is a member of the AAT and our reputation and customer service are second to none.

Maximum rebate guaranteed. Our advisors make sure that you get as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

Click here to start your IMI mechanics tax rebate claim

Tony Shanks

Big Packed Lunch for NSPCC

This month here at Tax Rebate Services HQ we’re supporting the NSPCC’s Big Packed Lunch campaign to help raise funds for their ChildLine Schools Service.

So on 17 September, rather than popping to the shops, we’ll be sharing a homemade packed lunch in the office and donating the money we usually spend on lunch to the NSPCC.

We regularly donate to the NSPCC but you don’t need to be a regular donor or give a lot to help make a difference – Big Packed Lunch is a simple idea and one that anyone can take part in.

The money the charity raises through Big Packed Lunch will all go towards the ChildLine Schools Service, which is a new service that is educating children in all areas of the UK about abuse. It helps young children to understand what abuse is and how they can get help if they ever need it. According to NSPCC research, an average of two children in every primary school class have suffered abuse or neglect so the service really will make a difference.

Earlier this month I took part in a photo shoot with the NSPCC to help draw attention to Big Packed Lunch and encourage other businesses to join in – here I am posing with a rather large sandwich! You can help too by getting your friends or colleagues together for a special fundraising lunch on 17 September.

If you feel inspired to take part in Big Packed Lunch, there’s more information about how to get involved on the NSPCC website.

Tony Shanks

Have I Already Got Uniform Tax Relief?

You can claim uniform tax relief if you wash your own uniform or protective clothing.

It’s a good idea to check if you are already receiving the allowance before trying to make a claim.

Some people, especially if you work for a large employer have the uniform tax allowance included in their tax code. This means you’ve received the allowance and don’t need to apply.

Uniform allowance and your tax code

Your tax code will let you know if the allowance is in your code. Normally if you don’t have any other job expenses or company benefits your tax code should be higher than the standard tax code for that tax year.

For example in the 2013/2014 tax year your tax code would be 1006L instead of 1000L.

We can help you check if you’re not sure.

Can I claim for anything else?

When trying to claim for washing your uniform or protective clothing it’s wise to learn more about what else you might be able to get tax relief on. Lot’s of people can claim for other work related costs like using your own car to travel to different work places and for tools bought to do their jobs.

Tony Shanks


Tax Rebate Services and MAC Tools

We help Mechanics get tool tax rebates so MAC tools asked us along to their trade fair at Silverstone on Saturday.

It was a great day and will should be able to reach out to lot’s more mechanics through out tool provider partner programme.

What is the Tool Provider Partner Programme?

The programme has been successful for many years and is an extra source of income for tool providers. The mechanics they sell to can claim tax relief on most of the tools and equipment bought to do their jobs.

Our service helps mechanics to claim the tool tax relief back and this is where tool providers come in. They can pass on our tool tax rebate claim packs to the mechanics they deal with, and get £25 for each introduction.

The benefits 

It’s been proven. Offering our service to your clients will:

  • Strengthen your client relationship
  • Encourage your clients to spend more on your products
  • Help you receive a referral fee of £25 per referred client

The process 

1. You distribute our simple claim pack – that’s where your bit ends
2. Our claim forms are returned and checked
3. You get a referral fee of £25 sent to you usually within 48 hours
4. Nothing more for you to do – we deal with the rest

Thanks to everyone at MAC for making us feel so welcome and we’d love to come back next year.

Tony Shanks

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