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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

HMRC Chasing Tax Dodgers

Tax dodgers escape from justice with £844 million of taxpayer’s money.

The normal UK tax payer pays it’s fair share of income tax and so should everyone else.

UK tax authorities have only caught 7 of their 30 most wanted tax evaders in the last 2 years. And the government have just added 5 more individuals to the list!

In 2012, for the first time, HMRC began a public campaign to capture known fugitives. It drew many comparisons with the FBI in America. They started by identifying 20 individuals who had fled the country leaving debts of hundreds of thousands of pounds. In 2013, 10 more names were added to this list.

Meet 3 of the 5 new additions the government have just added to the most wanted list.

Mr Khezr – sentenced to 6 years for selling non-UK duty paid cigarettes.

Mr Edwards – was charged with involvement in an alleged VAT fraud.

Mr Natarajan – received a 6 year sentence for smuggling garlic into the UK declared as ginger.

HMRC says that there have been 990 prosecutions in the last year. They also say that the public appeal has led to more information about alleged offenders and that they now know where 16 others actually are. HMRC also state that the cumulative cost of frauds committed in the UK is more than £844 million!

Unfortunately only one third of the people on this ‘most wanted’ list have actually been forced to carry out their punishment. For example, here are 3 known fugitives who have escaped justice to date.

Mr Sabin received a conviction for selling a large quantity of illegal cigarettes in the North East.

Magdalena Ferkova was convicted of tax credit and child benefit fraud and was returned to the Czech Republic.

Michael Fearon ran away to the Republic of Ireland during his trial for involvement with smuggling nearly 8.4 million cigarettes into the UK.

The response from HMRC’s Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, Jennie Granger, feels a little unconvincing in the light of these facts, “…the success of our campaign means that those on the run should know that HMRC will relentlessly pursue them”.

Tony Shanks

 

Gambling Industry Employees Tax Rebates

Do you work in the Gambling Industry? What tax rebates are you missing out on?

If you work in the gambling industry you may be able to get tax refund on some of your work related expenses.

Uniform tax rebate

You are entitled to claim the tax back for the laundry of your work uniform. Tax rebates are based on the highest rate of tax you pay which is either 20% or 40%, normally totaling £12 or £24, per tax year. As this can be backdated for up to four years, this works out between £48 and £96 in total per claim.

 

Personal function licences

The gambling commission requires casino employees to hold a Personal Functional Licence (P.F.L.) to do work involving gaming or handling cash in relation to gaming. If you are a gaming supervisor, pit boss, cashier, inspector or security and surveillance staff in a casino you need a P.F.L. These licences cost £185.00 per year. If you have to cover this substantial cost yourself, you are entitled to claim tax back. The average amount is between £37 and £74 per licence.

 

Security industry authority licence

Different jobs within the industry require an employee to hold a Security Industry Authority Licence. For example, door supervisors, CCTV operators, security guards and cash handlers all need to be registered with the S.I.A. The average tax back on this expense is between £44 and £88 per registration. There is no need to root out old bank statements for the registration cost rates as we can do this for you.

Depending on your job specification, you may actually need more than one S.I.A. licence. You may need to purchase extra licences for close protection, security guarding, cash and valuables in transit, door supervision, public space supervision and security or manned guarding. We are able to claim a tax rebate for each of these licences individually, which could amount to between £264 and £528 going back over four years.

 

I don’t keep receipts!

You can make a successful claim without a trail of carefully filed receipts. All we need is a list of the things you have bought with approximate costings for each year.

Sometimes HMRC have rejected some tax rebate claims because there were no receipts as evidence. But any claims that were incorrectly rejected were successfully challenged and compensation was received by the client. So, if your claim is rejected on these grounds, we can fight this on your behalf.

 

Do I have to remember to go through this process every year?

When you have made a successful claim you should then automatically receive the allowance in your pay. The only time you may need to check your status and make another claim is if the cost of licences change.

 

How do I make a claim?

Let the experts take care of it for you. We make it easy and hassle free while making sure you get everything your entitled to.

Click here to start your tax rebate claim

Tony Shanks

 

 

HMRC Doubling Tax Investigations

HMRC have hired an extra 200 investigators in the past three years, taking the total to 1,600. The Daily Telegraph discovered that the number of tax investigations has doubled in the past tax year to 237,215 in a bid to recoup the £35 billion of income tax lost each year. The number of annual prosecutions has gone up seven times in the last three years and the number of investigations into self-employed people has multiplied by four.

Tax experts are becoming increasingly concerned that people who have made mistakes on sometimes complicated self assessment tax returns are easily intimidated into paying without question. Mark Giddens, a partner at accountancy firm U.H.Y. Hacker Young, said that “teachers, doctors and lawyers” are the “soft targets” being pursued by HMRC. This is because they are more likely to be stressed into paying a bill straightaway, rather than dispute its fairness. Many genuine mistakes involve misunderstandings about capital gains tax, jointly owned properties and second properties. David Lawrenson from Lettingfocus.com said, “There is a great deal of uncertainty among landlords about what expenses can be offset against income.” You are trying to pay the correct amount of tax so let us cut the confusion and avoid mistakes from the start, contact Tax Rebate Services.

Tory MP Brooks Newmark on the Commons Treasury select committee said that HMRC had been “given a mandate to aggressively go about trying to collect tax” and that “people in middle England are easy targets”…”there are some errors there that HMRC may in previous years have left or not necessarily picked up, but are now nit-picking”. Newmark also pointed out that there is a difference between a one off genuine mistake and a repeated pattern of tax avoidance over consecutive years. HMRC should treat each type of case appropriately, not apply the same heavy-handed, stressful tactics to both.

This strong-arm attitude seems to be endorsed by the government as it included new powers for HMRC to remove money directly from taxpayers’ bank accounts in this year’s Budget.

A spokesperson HMRC said that the number of cases had gone up because it was holding more compliance inquiries and these “are only opened where we believe there may be a problem causing the wrong tax to be paid”.

Tony Shanks

Social Worker Tax Rebate

Social workers – do you know what tax relief you can claim?

Social workers across Britain can claim income tax rebates for the cost of uniform laundry, subscriptions to professional bodies and unions, and for using your private vehicle for work travel.

You have four years to make a claim before you start missing out. Many social workers miss out on money their owed simply because they didn’t know they could get tax relief on their work related costs.

 

Continued savings

Claiming back isn’t just about years gone by, it means you can get a new higher tax code resulting in you paying less tax in each year moving forward.

 

What you can claim a tax rebate for:

  • Any subscriptions to professional bodies. For example G.S.C.C., H.C.P.C. and Unison.
  • Using your own private car to make work related journeys.
  • The cost of buying and laundering a work uniform.

 

How much money can I get back?

A typical tax rebate claim for a social worker is somewhere in the region of £200-£300. If you belong to more than one professional body or use your own car this can be a lot more. Each claim is an individual case and is worked out on your personal circumstances.

The rules of entitlement mean that you can claim retrospectively as far back as April 2010. This means that even if you have since retired or changed profession you can claim for the expenses you incurred whilst working as a social worker. Remember – time is of the essence! HMRC stick to their deadlines!

 

How difficult and time consuming is the claim?

It’s crucial to realise that you will NOT get any of this money automatically. You MUST submit an application to get any of the money you are rightfully entitled to.

It can be difficult and time consuming which is where we can help you by doing the hard bit, and importantly ensuring you get everything back you’re eligible for.

Click here to start your social worker tax rebate today

Tony Shanks

 

 

 

HMRC Tax Code Proposal

More powers proposed for HMRC – 30 days to tell you of a change to your tax code

Having an incorrect tax code can mean you either pay too much tax or too little – so it’s important.

Under current regulations HMRC tells taxpayers about any change to their tax code immediately, therefore personal finances can be budgeted accordingly. HMRC are proposing additional powers which would mean they would have 30 days to inform you of a change to your code. T

he difference this could make to ‘take home’ pay could easily derail any worker’s budget and also means that it could take a month to check that the newly assigned tax code is correct. As over 5 million workers are currently dealing with errors in the P.A.Y.E. system, a further consequence may be one of trying to rectify subsequent over or under payment issues.

As reported in The Telegraph, tax experts Baker Tilly said that taxpayers would be “effectively lending to the taxman out of their salaries”.

Parliament will make a decision on this proposal later this year. They have already granted HMRC the additional ability to take money directly from taxpayers’ bank accounts.

According to their spokesman, “HMRC anticipates savings for the taxpayer of several millions of pounds in printing and postage costs, as a result of these changes”. They also said that this new power to withhold tax code information is only designed to be used around busy times of the year, such as around the deadline for self assessment. They justified it further by saying that employees can request their tax code earlier for their own financial planning and that employers will still be informed of any changes straightaway.

Tony Shanks

Chef Tax Rebate

If your a chef or kitchen staff you could be due a tax rebate

As an employee you are entitled to reclaim tax on expenses that are a necessary part of your employment. The catering industry has several costs for which you could be claiming your tax rebate. It means you can get a tax rebate for the last four years and save money in the future with a new tax code.

Do you wash your own chef whites?

If you have to wear a uniform or specialist clothing for work, you can claim a tax allowance for the cleaning of these garments. So, if you wash your aprons or chef’s whites at home you are entitled to this rebate.

Have you had to buy your own protective clothing or shoes?

You can also claim a tax rebate on the purchase of your chef’s whites or aprons if they have not been provided for by your employer. To comply with Health and Safety policies in kitchens, staff are often required to wear non-slip safety footwear. If you have been left to carry this cost yourself, then you can reclaim tax relief .

Buying knives and other kitchen equipment 

Needing to buy knives is standard stuff for a lot of chefs. Knives and other kitchen equipment are essential tools in letting you carry out your professional duties. If you’ve bought them yourself and not been reimbursed a tax rebate can be reclaimed. The amount you can get back is roughly either 20% or 40% ( depending on how much you earn ) of what you have spent.

How do I claim my chef’s tax rebate?

We specialise in getting tax relief back for Chef’s and kitchen staff and can he. Claiming can be time consuming and complicated. We make it easy and hassle free.

Click here to start your chef tax rebate claim today 

Tony Shanks

 

 

Taxpayers being held responsible for HMRC mistakes

HMRC send out millions of tax codes which apply to the system of PAYE automatic taxation. This means that tax should have been automatically deducted from your pension or salary. Mistakes are often made, particularly when a taxpayer has more than one source of income or a change in employment circumstances. The wrong tax code can mean underpayment of tax and the potential for a devastating bill from the tax office. In some cases a tax rebate could be due if you have paid too much.

The tax office may take years to discover a mistake of this nature and will then demand payment to be made within three weeks. This is an immediate and frightening shift of responsibility onto the taxpayer who had initially provided all the necessary information and was unaware that they had the wrong tax code. How many of us have access to a few hundred, or a few thousand, pounds at such short notice?

For example, Jessica Gorst-Williams of The Daily Telegraph took on the case of Peter Patton who received a bill for £10,459 pounds from HMRC in 2009. This bill had accumulated over six years as a result of HMRC applying the wrong tax codes to his combined income of a final salary pension and current work for a disabled care provider. Mr Patton had retired in 1999 from the civil service and paid his bill in full. In 2010 he read an article in the Daily Telegraph about a clause in tax rules which states how he could have his tax arrears written off. His subsequent complaint was denied and may only have received justice, and a refund, after his case was spotlighted by the Telegraph journalist.

‘Escape Clause’ not being used by HMRC to resolve their mistakes

There is a clause called ‘Extra-Statutory Concession’ – ‘Esc A19’ – which sets out three conditions which, if met, allow tax arrears to be written off. These are;

  1. HMRC failed to make “proper and timely” use of the information provided to it.
  2. The tax payer “could reasonably have believed their tax affairs were in order”.
  3. No notification was sent to the taxpayer within twelve months of the end of the tax year in question.

HMRC have been criticised by the Head Tax Adjudicator in a report published in June of last year. This report stated that they were investigating a “marked increase” in complaints that should have been resolved by the tax office using ESC A19. Also that “careless and avoidable errors” had not been noticed and corrected by HMRC whilst handling complaints.

Instead of using this concession, especially when no pattern of tax avoidance is established, HMRC are aggressively pursuing the taxpayer in order to fix their own mistakes. Cheap Accounting director Elaine Clark said, “Taxpayers who suffer errors are being forced to be more tenacious. In our experience HMRC has toughened its stance. It’s almost as if officials don’t read the case file, they just send out a letter demanding payment even if the taxpayer  would have legitimately qualified for ESC A19”. When faced with a bill from an authority like HMRC, taxpayers are anxious about challenging the figures and are unaware of their own rights within the system. Disputes are lengthy, which is why more people are turning to the Tax Adjudicator for justice.

An HMRC spokesperson said that rules had not been tightened and that the number of complaints had “tailed off”. He added that “The concession (ESC A19) only became of interest to taxpayers because we were behind in our end-of-year reconciliation process, but we have now been back on an even keel for years.” HMRC are putting a new system in place to help reduce the number of discrepancies in PAYE payments called ‘Real Time Information’. This changes the requirement for employers to give information annually to monthly or weekly submissions, depending on how they pay their employees. There is a massive amount of information necessary for the 44 million PAYE taxpayers and already there are fears that tax code accuracy has been compromised by the sheer volume of data being processed.

Tony Shanks

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