Pension Tax Bill

Pension Freedom Launches Tax Pandemonium


Are you over 55 and poised to withdraw some of your newly available pension money?


Plans in place? Getting the mortgage paid off? Taking that big holiday?




Before you go any further, just be aware of the tax implications…it’s not as simple as the original ‘provide your tax code’ instruction from your pension providers. You’re going to need your P45!


This month, the government ‘freed’ citizens from the shackles of fixed annuity income pensions and are allowing autonomy over how pension funds are used. Hailed as a victory for individual choice and financial liberty, it is predicted that thousands of people from the age of 55 will be using the new system to access their money.


To abate fears of potential lost revenue, Chancellor Osborne clarified that tax would still be owed on ¾ of each pension fund. As these plans unfolded, taxpayers were informed by their pension providers that they simply needed to produce their tax code at the time of their withdrawal to have the correct amount of tax deducted. “Simples!”


Unfortunately, not so simple in practice…


If you retired before the tax year started or are still in work and want to make a withdrawal you will be paying an ‘emergency tax’. Now is a good time to sit down … this is a rate of 45%. Yes, 45% – all because you don’t have a P45.


Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are insisting that everyone must produce a P45 at the point of withdrawal as it is the only evidence documenting how much tax an individual has paid in that tax year. Without it, the Tax Office would rather charge a high emergency fee that they have to repay, rather than be faced with chasing taxpayers for money that may already be spent by the time the tax bill is received.


The problem with this rule is that you only receive a P45 when you get your full pension or leave employment. The main consequence of HMRC’s decision is that most taxpayers accessing their pension money will not have a valid P45, will be paying far too much tax and will then have to go through the rigmarole of reclaiming the overpayment amount.


Pension Companies’ hands are tied

The Telegraph reported that more 12 of Britain’s major pension companies will consider emergency tax to be the standard rate because of their directions from HMRC.


An Aviva spokesperson answered a lot of the immediate questions that spring to mind when considering this situation; “These rules establish that where a customer does not have a valid P45 an emergency tax code is required. We are required to use only the tax codes supplied by HMRC. It is not permitted to use tax codes from any other sources or any other tax information supplied by a customer.”


So, no, you can’t just talk to your pension provider about your own situation and no other evidence will make any difference because of the rules dictated by HMRC.


So, how much will this emergency tax rate cost you?

Jonothan McColgan works at Combined Financial Strategies and he has done some, rather scary, sums.


  • If you withdraw £30,000, your emergency tax bill will be £8,970.
  • As a basic rate taxpayer you will be overcharged an average of £4,470.
  • If you are retired with no income and no P45, you will pay £6,590 more than necessary.
  • A higher rate taxpayer will pay £29 too little tax.


That is the flip side of the emergency tax coin – you could also end up paying too little tax and have to cough up even more at the end of the tax year.


As Ros Altman, an independent pensions expert, says, “A lot of people are going to get a nasty shock when they see how much tax is going to be deducted from their funds. The tax office has made it very difficult for pension companies to apply the right amount of tax – many people will be very angry. This is clearly unfair and there should be a system where people can write to the tax office before they withdraw money.”


Her last point is full of the common sense that appears to be missing from the implementation of this policy. Why can’t we expect that the precise amount of tax owed is deducted accurately at the point of withdrawal? Taxpaying savers have all of the necessary information to share with their pension providers, it just requires HMRC’s agreement.


What about getting the overpaid tax back?

Crucial question and HMRC gave a very confident answer, “Claimants presenting their 2015/16 P45 to their pension provider will pay the correct tax. In the event that they don’t, any discrepancy will be settled within 30 days of HMRC being notified.”

Considering that HMRC are estimating 20 weeks as the processing time for current tax rebate claims, this is decidedly unrealistic.


Mr McColgan agrees, “The new freedoms are great changes to pensions but there will be complications. You should be prepared to wait a few months for HMRC to make redresses, however, as they will have a huge volume of cases to process.”


That’s an avalanche of new work for the already understaffed, overworked Tax Office who seem to be struggling to resolve the existing claims backlog. It currently takes at least double the amount of time to get bog standard, legitimate rebates back to taxpayers. So it would seem unwise to rely on receiving any emergency tax rebate within the mere 30 days the Tax Office suggests for this entirely new phenomenon.


It would seem entirely wise to proceed with caution if you are accessing any of your pension money. Unless common sense suddenly has a break through, HMRC’s stringent adherence to producing a P45 will scupper many people’s plans. Just make sure of your figures to avoid unexpected disappointment. And if you do find yourself needing a tax rebate, you don’t have to put yourself through the complicated process alone. Give us a call on 01228 520477. Or, if you prefer, email us at

Tony Shanks




JIB and ECS Tax Relief

Do have you an ECS card from the Joint Industry Board?


You could be owed a large tax rebate for the expenses you have because of your job.


The average tax rebate we get back for JIB members is well over £900 and can sometimes be worth several thousand pounds. Electricians under both PAYE and CIS are eligible but a claim is needed or you will miss out.

There are a mass of tax regulations in this area, these are the most common successful claims we have made for your colleagues;


  • Buying your own tools and/or safety equipment to use at work.
  • Mileage in your own car. (This does not include a daily commute to and from a permanent workplace.)
  • Laundering uniforms or protective clothing, if your employer has not provided any washing facilities.
  • Professional body or Union fees . (eg JIB) Unfortunately, Unite does not yet have an agreement in place with HMRC, but we’ll let you know on our News page as and when that changes.
  • Accommodation and subsistence costs when working away from home.


Whilst the JIB uses its expertise to maintain good pay and conditions, and provides you with an extensive range of services, we are the experts at maximising legitimate tax rebates for JIB members.

The Joint Industry Board’s role as a regulatory body for British electrical contractors is essential both for you as employees and your clients. It maintains standards for training apprenticeships and runs the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme.

The ECS card serves as proof of identity and guarantee of qualifications. JIB insistence of 3 yearly Health and Safety Assessments further demonstrates its commitment to improving your industry’s status. This validates your ECS card and enables affiliation with CSCS.


Anything else I need to know?


  • CIS and PAYE members are both eligible.
  • We can backdate your first claim up to 4 years.
  • Even if your expenses are partly reimbursed by your employer, there may be other tax reliefs you are entitled to.
  • This money cannot be automatically refunded to you by HMRC. You have to help them give you your money back by submitting a claim.
  • Your tax code will change after your first claim, continuing to save you on tax payments into the future.


What we do

  • ALL of the leg work; form filling, communicating with HMRC, chasing the claim.
  • Guarantee each client an individualised claim that encompasses all of their entitlements, resulting in the maximum tax rebate possible.
  • Fill in any tax returns that need done.
  • Provide an entirely professional, expert service from our accredited accountants.
  • Implement a ‘No rebate, no fee’ policy – therefore, no risk for you!


Give us a call on 0845 094 0005 or 01228 520477. Or email us at


It would be a crime to leave your money with the Tax Office just because you don’t know if you’re eligible to claim or because you’ve been put off by all the paperwork. We will make a hassle free claim on your behalf; all you have to do is wait for the cheque!

Tony Shanks



PCSO Tax Relief

A tax guide for Police Community Support Officers

Are you one of the 13,000 dedicated Police Community Support Workers employed in England and Wales?

Are you aware that PCSO’s have legitimate entitlement to various tax rebates on work related expenses?


Some background

We are not trying to put tax relief on the same footing as the issues you resolve every day. But we do believe that justice should apply within the taxation system and that taxpayers deserve to receive their legal entitlements.

If you spend any money on something that is work related and do not receive any reimbursement, then you probably have the right to make a claim. HMRC cannot just automatically return any overspend to you, you must make an official claim.


What can I claim for?

There is a whole host of tax regulations for work related expenses. The most common, successful claims we make for our PCSO clients is for washing their own uniform.


  • Laundering Uniform

This is worth £60.00 per year and it applies right across the board to everyone employed by the Police Force. If your employer does not provide laundry facilities and you do not get any financial reimbursement for uniform laundry costs, then you can make a claim.


Other expenses you can claim for include:


  • Using your own car

This does not include your regular home to work commute, but means going between different workplaces.


  • Police Federation Membership.

If you decide to take the path to becoming a fully warranted police officer, then you can make a claim for the tax you pay on your Police Federation membership fee.


You are amazing!

The Home Office Report into the Police Workforce identified that 6.2% of total staffing comes from our crucial PCSOs. Over 13,000 people who shoulder tremendous responsibility as part of the frontline police services.

You have increased police visibility by ‘walking the beat’ in your local communities and are involved with an array of anti-social behaviour prevention. PCSOs must strike a tricky balance between approachable communication and calm, solid law enforcement. From detaining a suspect to dealing with truants, from comforting an accident witness to crowd control – ‘demanding job’ seems rather an understatement!


What we do

At Tax Rebate Services we submit bespoke claims for each client which guarantees you receive the maximum rebates you are entitled to.

An initial claim can be backdated for 4 years and a subsequent change in your tax code will see you saving money on tax into the future.

Our accredited accountants will do all of the frustrating paperwork and even communicate with the Tax Office on your behalf. You don’t have to spend any time or effort yourself – give us a call on 01228 520477. Or email us at

Our 30 years of experience has built a 98% success rate and an average initial rebate of £900. We operate a ‘No rebate, no fee’ policy – so you genuinely have nothing to lose and a nice cheque to gain!

Tony Shanks

Midwives Tax Rebates

Are you one of the thousands of midwives who do an amazing job of caring for childbearing women, new-borns and their families?

Do you know that you are entitled to several tax reliefs for work expenses?

It is difficult to imagine what could truly make you feel appreciated for the amount of your authentic self you willingly give to your work. This is at least one way the government acknowledges the financial outlay of your job.

HMRC cannot automatically return this to you, an official claim submission is essential.


What can I claim for?

The list of tax regulations seems never ending, we have narrowed this list down to the most common tax reliefs that we have previously secured for our midwife clients. Tax rules apply equally to both public and private sector.

  • Shoes and tights

This is a very common claim for healthcare workers and is worth £12.00 and £6.00 respectively, per year.


  • Laundering Uniform

This is worth £100 per year for taxpayers in your field. As long as you do not receive any money for laundry from your employer and there are no facilities at your workplace, then you are entitled to make this claim.


  • Fees for some Professional bodies and unions. Subscriptions to some professional journals.

If your professional body or union has an agreement with HMRC – like RCM and UNISON – then you can reclaim the tax you have paid on this cost.


  • Equipment you have purchased for work purposes

‘Equipment’ is defined as, items that your employer has not provided and are necessary to complete your job, it can include laptops and a desk from which to work from home. This relief falls under the heading of ‘capital allowances’ rulings and means that if the item will last for more than 2 years, then you will probably get a refund. You will need a receipt for this type of claim.


  • Mileage and using a private vehicle for work journeys

This does not mean your daily home to work journeys to your permanent workplace. But it does include any travel you do to different locations during the course of fulfilling your work duties. For example, visiting families of new babies at home or running breastfeeding workshops at a community centre.

In comparison to the arrival of new life, with all of the possible complications, your tax affairs may seem trivial. But it is important that you are claiming all of the legitimate tax reliefs you are entitled to as a midwife.

How we can help you
We help Midwives and have done for many years and will submit one bespoke claim, based on your individual situation, guaranteeing your maximum tax rebate entitlements.

Our service will:

  • Fill in all the forms and talk to HMRC on your behalf
  • Backdate your claim for the last four years
  • Change your tax code to ensure you pay less tax in the future

No stress, hassle or time wasting for you. We operate a ‘No rebate = No fee’ policy, so there is no risk to you.

Please give us a call on 01228 520477. Or you can email us at

Remember – your money cannot be automatically returned to you. You MUST submit a claim.

It’s almost impossible to define how important your role is before, during and after pregnancy. You are a source of practical advice, a physical presence and emotional support during the extreme joy and, sometimes, sadness of childbirth.

You can deal with all of this and we’re here to take care of the tax bit for you.

Tony Shanks


HMRC Tax Crime Map

HMRC have brought out an online map showing where the tax cheats in the UK are living.

The map also shows the crime they’ve committed and the sentence served letting everyone know the impact of HMRC’s enforcement work.

You can see the convictions resulting in jail sentences since April 2013 and the locations of HMRC taskforces from 2011.


David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:


“HMRC’s investigators are catching tax cheats in every corner of the country and we want people to be able to see the outcome of this enforcement action.


“HMRC’s new online enforcement map shows tax cheats that when they are caught they can face hefty prison sentences.


“It is yet another example of how the government is making HMRC’s work more transparent.”


HMRC’s Chief Executive, Lin Homer, said:


“HMRC is prosecuting more tax cheats every year and targeting more trades and professions where we have identified that tax revenue is at risk. This map shows the scale of our criminal investigation operations, so tax cheats should be seriously worried that HMRC is coming for them next.”


You can see the map here.

Tony Shanks

Tax Office Helpline Standstill

The new pension regulations bring with them tax implications. This has meant an influx of calls to HMRC from savers wanting to find out more about what will happen if they cash in their pension.

It’s reported up to one million people phoned HMRC yesterday which resulted in their phone lines being blocked.

Many were cut off because the waiting time was too long after spending up to ten minutes navigating the many options.

Some were given a recorded message advising savers to contact pension wise which is the new government service to help people with their pension options.

An HMRC spokesman said:

“We handle around 50 million calls a year and we know that some of our customers struggle to get through on our helplines at very busy times. We are working very hard to improve our service.”

Tony Shanks

Working from home Tax Relief changes

Do you work from home?

HMRC have changed the flat allowance you’re allowed to claim without receipts, so If you have just started using your home for work or you claim every year here’s what you need to know.


New working from home HMRC rates

The agreed rates for working from home have changed from the 2015-16 tax year.

Without having to provide receipts you can claim;

  • £10.00 per month, if you work 25 hours or more.
  • £18.00 per month, if you work 51 hours or more.
  • £26.00 per month, if you work 101 hours or more.

The rates will come into use from the 6th April 2015 and can be used when completing your tax return if you fill one in or when you make an expenses claim through PAYE.



What does HMRC mean by ‘working from home’?

Yes, they do have their own definitions of things! Basically, they require that your contract specifies the necessity to work from home as part of the job. They also accept written confirmation in the form of a letter from your employer stating that you are required to work from home.


If you have volunteered to work from home then your employer must make a contribution to your expenses in order for you to be able to claim tax relief. The most successful claims have been for clients with a recognisable work pattern. For example – 2 days in the office, 3 days working at home.



Are there any other expenses I can claim for?

Lot’s of people who use their home for work have other expenses because of their jobs. It all depends on your own set of circumstances what else you can claim for. Here’s some examples:


  • Other ‘working from home’ expenses.

Generally it is acceptable to claim for the extra expense of lighting and heating your home workspace. This includes gas and electric and any work phone calls.

  • Using your own vehicle

If you make any journeys in your own private vehicle to different work locations or to a temporary workplace, then you can make a claim for mileage.

  • Membership fees and subscriptions

Some Unions, professional bodies and trade journals have an agreement with HMRC so that you can reclaim the tax paid on their fees.

  • Purchasing equipment, protective clothing and work uniforms.

If you have had to buy any of these items for work and have not been reimbursed then you can reclaim the tax you have paid on these items.

  • Laundering a work uniform.

If your employer does not provide you with washing facilities then you can claim the cost of cleaning your uniform at home.


Sounds complicated!

If you’re new to claiming or just need help we can assist you. Often tax regulations are rather complicated. But that’s where we can remove the hassle and secure you the entire tax rebate you are entitled to.

Our accredited accountants submit individualised claims which secure an average rebate of £900.

We can backdate the claim for 4 years and you even get a little interest for the previous years. As we operate a ‘No rebate, no fee’ policy, there is no risk involved in submitting a claim.

We will communicate with HMRC on your behalf, deal with any tricky questions and complete all of the paperwork for you.

Give us a call on 01228 520477. Or email us at

Tony Shanks


Communication Workers Union Tax Relief

Communication Workers Union

Are you one of the 199,443 members of the Communication Workers Union?


I thought we couldn’t claim anything for Union fees?

You’re right, there is no agreement between HMRC and CWU securing you tax relief on your Union fees. That doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the future and we will keep you informed.


But there are plenty of other tax rebates that you may be able to claim!

As the largest UK Union for the communications industry, your members have an impressive array of skills in mechanics, engineering, computing, financial and clerical, manual, call centre and sales.

As a country we could not access the latest technology, rely on a solid communications foundation or even post a letter without you! So, whether you work for Virgin media or Royal Mail group, EE and Santander or Capita, or any of the other companies inbetween, we will get you the tax relief you are entitled to.


Here are the most common tax reliefs we have claimed for our previous clients that are CWU members:


  • Buying tools, uniform or protective clothing for work.

If they are essential to your job, not provided by your employer and you are not reimbursed for their cost then you will be entitled to 15-20% of their total price. You will need receipts as evidence.

  • Washing your work uniform.

If you do not have any laundry service provided by your employer then you can claim the cost of washing your uniform at home.

  • Fees for professional bodies, unions and some journal subscriptions.

At the moment the CWU does not have an agreement with the tax office, but many organisations do so it’s worth checking.

  • Using a private vehicle for work travel.

This does not mean your daily commute to and from a permanent workplace. But if you have to travel between sites, or have a ‘temporary’ workplace, then you are probably entitled to mileage payments.


At Tax Rebate Services our accredited accountants will submit one bespoke claim which guarantees all the rebates you are entitled to. We can backdate an initial claim for up to 4 years and the resulting new tax code continues the tax savings into the future. We operate a ‘No rebate, no fee’ policy.

You don’t have to fret over the paperwork or wait in the infamously long Tax Office phone queues. After an initial conversation we can communicate with HMRC on your behalf and accurately complete all of the necessary forms. It’s a hassle free, risk free option with an average £900 cheque waiting at the end of the process.

Give us a call on 01228 520477. Or email us at Get back what you are legitimately owed!

Tony Shanks

IFL and ETF Teacher Tax Relief

Do you claim back the tax on your Education and Training Foundation (previously Institute for Learning) subscription fee?


Did you know that you could?


What you can claim

As members of The Education and Training Foundation you could be entitled to a number of teacher tax reliefs on workplace expenses. Whether you are a fellow, full, associate, affiliate or companion member you can claim back the tax on the cost of your membership.

Here are some other common expenses that we have successfully claimed for members of the Institute for Learning and The Education and Training Foundation.


  • Working from home.
  • Buying and laundering work uniform or specialist clothing.
  • Membership fees for professional bodies and unions ( like the NUT ) and the subscriptions costs of some professional journals.
  • Using your own vehicle to get between different work locations.
  • Purchasing equipment or tools that are necessary for your work.


And with an initial claim we can go back up to 4 taxpaying years!


How you can claim your money back

Some taxpayers would rather let The Tax Office keep their tax overpayment than struggle through the process of reclaiming. But all you really have to do is get in touch with us here at Tax Rebate Services.


You will be treated as an individual by our AAT accredited accountants who will ensure that your claim includes all the elements you are entitled to. You can avoid the daunting prospect of talking to HMRC by letting us handle all communications on your behalf. That includes form filling, phone queries and chasing the progress of your claim.

You can spend your precious home time on more rewarding pursuits than translating ‘tax-speak’ – we are already fluent!


We cannot promise to deliver the kind of life-changing opportunities that you provide for your learners. But we are experts in achieving legitimate, accurate tax rebates for our clients that work in the Education sector.


So, whether you are a tutor, trainer or support worker in a workshop, prison or college, please get in touch. Don’t let HMRC keep any more of your hard-earned money than they should!

Just fill in our short, simple form at or call us on 01228 520477.


Remember – no rebate = no fee.

Tony Shanks

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