The registration deadline for those filing a tax return for the first time, as well as business owners and self-employed workers, is on October 5, with HMRC predicting that around 600,000 people are expected to register. As record energy, living and mortgage costs continue to cripple households across the nation, tax refunds are more welcome news than ever – with a recent report revealing that the average yearly tax refund has increased to £1,518. With the energy price cap set to reach £2,500 in October, claiming a tax refund could act as a much-needed pay-day for struggling Brits desperate to make ends meet. Tommy Mcnally, leading tax expert with over a decade of experience in the industry, and CEO and founder of trusted tax-refund app, Tommys Tax, explains how in a period of widespread economic uncertainty, Brits could use this time efficiently to claim back what’s rightfully theirs.
The average take home refund per year for PAYE workers is £600 (but they can historically claim back 4 years’ worth of this), while the average take home refund for CIS employees is £2800. For business owners and self-employed workers, you can claim a flat rate of £1000 using the trading allowance, or claim every single business expense if this exceeds £1000. Tommys Tax normally caps the expenses at £4500, so unless the customer is a higher earner, the refund amount will not change. With this in mind, Tommy provides some of his top tips for first-time filers and self-employed workers who are unsure of what they can claim back.
Claim your food costs:
If you travel more than 1.5 hours a day to work, leave home before 6am, or work past 8pm, you could be eligible to claim a refund on food costs. A maximum of £7.50 can be claimed per day, 5 days a week. If you’re travelling and staying overnight, or if you’re travelling to more than one location for work purposes, you can also claim a tax refund on food allowances.
Claim a refund on uniform:
If you wear a uniform for work, you may not realise that you can claim a maximum of £16 a week for your washing. You can claim a refund for cleaning, repairing or replacing your uniform – however, keep in mind that you cannot claim relief on the initial cost of buying clothing for work.
Claim your travel expenses:
For those who travel a lot for work, you can claim refunds on travel expenses if you have travelled to two different locations. This is applicable to those whose employers don’t cover these expenses with the likes of a company car or fuel card, and can be from public transport, parking, congestion charges and tolls.
Working from home:
You can claim tax relief on having to work from home only if you live too far away from your office, if your employer does not have an office, or if you’re self-employed. With this, you can claim a refund on gas and electricity and broadband – but only if it’s used for your work.
Claim back your fees for professional bodies/trade unions/membership:
If you have to pay a fee to perform your duties (e.g. nurses, construction), you can claim back a tax-refund on this. Similarly, if you have to pay for an annual subscription to approved professional bodies, learned societies, or professional membership fees, you can claim tax relief.
In a period of widespread economic uncertainty, Mcnally urges employers and employees across the UK to take this opportunity to become more educated when it comes to tax returns, and what you’re eligible to claim back. With around £20 billion of tax left unclaimed every year, this marks a crucial period for Brits navigating a loss in capital across all domains and could even act as a vital lifeline for families struggling with soaring costs amidst the current climate.
Tommy Mcnally, leading tax expert and CEO/Founder of Tommys Tax, comments on the government’s tax reforms:
“For the majority of people, taxes can be boring, confusing and anxiety-inducing, which is why millions of tax rebates are left unclaimed. Knowing what you can and can’t claim for isn’t easy to understand, however with our service, it becomes so simple and allows people to claim what’s rightfully theirs. With nearly everyone impacted by the increase of cost of living across the board, there are ways in which people can inject a much-needed boost into their bank accounts.”