Don’t miss out on a tax refund for work expenses

Thousands of taxpayers are claiming tax refunds for work-related expenses and HMRC is reminding them that they can claim directly.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding employed workers they can claim a refund on work-related expenses directly.

More than 800,000 taxpayers claimed tax refunds for work expenses during the 2021 to 2022 tax year, but while the average claim was £125, over 70% of claimants missed out on getting the full amount they were due because they used an agent to make their claim instead of claiming directly with HMRC.

It is quick and easy to claim a tax refund directly through HMRC’s online portal and the state that the only way to guarantee receiving 100% of the repayment – with no small print and no middlemen taking a cut.

Victoria Atkins, Financial Secretary to The Treasury:

Nobody should miss out on the full claim of a tax rebate – and by going straight to HMRC people can avoid being left out of pocket because of unscrupulous repayments agents.

Thanks to our Spring Budget reforms if someone no longer wants an agent involved in their claim, they’ll be able to cancel it so any future rebates will go to the taxpayer in full.

Jonathan Athow, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Strategy and Tax Design:

Every penny counts and we want to make sure employed workers are getting what they deserve – their hard-earned cash straight back into their pockets. To make a claim just search ‘employee tax relief’ on GOV.UK. It is the quickest way of getting a tax refund on your work-related expenses and ensures you get 100% of the money back.

Submitting a claim through HMRC’s online portal is straightforward and takes about 15 minutes. Tax payers can use the handy online tool to check eligibility and a full list of work expenses they can claim including:

  • uniforms and work clothing
  • buying work-related equipment
  • professional fees, union memberships, and subscriptions
  • using their own vehicle for work travel (excluding journey from home to work)

Those who already have a Government Gateway account can follow the step-by-step guidance to submit their claim. Those who need to set an account up can do so quickly and easily via GOV.UK.

For those considering using a repayment agent, HMRC is reminding them to be aware that an agent always charges for services – in some cases up to 50% of the value of the claim. And while initially it may seem simpler, they will need to supply the agent with exactly the same information they could use to make the claim themselves using HMRC’s free online portal.

It is important for tax payers to understand what they are signing up to. Before signing a contract with a repayment agent, they should research the company and always check the small print to ensure they understand what commission is being charged and how much of their tax refund they are likely to receive back.

Tax payers can find out more about how to make a work-related expense claim and what type of expense they can claim at GOV.UK.

HMRC’s new video shows some examples of the work-related expenses customers can claim a tax refund for.

PAYadvice.UK 19/5/2023

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