Taxpayers are missing the chance to claim for work-related expenses – and many of those who do, fail to receive a full refund by using agents.
Now HMRC has stepped in to remind workers that they can make their own claims directly through GOV.UK.
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, more than 70 per cent of claimants missed out on getting the full amount they were due because they used an agent to make their claim instead of doing it themselves.
HMRC advises it is quick and easy to claim a tax refund directly through its online portal on the GOV.UK website, and is the only way to guarantee receiving 100 per cent of the repayment – with no small print and no middlemen taking a cut.
Don’t be out of pocket
Victoria Atkins, Financial Secretary to The Treasury said: “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, said: “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 per cent of the money back.”
What you can claim for
Submitting a claim through HMRC’s online portal is straightforward and takes about 15 minutes. Customers 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)
Customers 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 customers who are 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 per cent of the value of the claim. And while initially it may seem simpler, customers will need to supply the agent with the same information they could use to make the claim themselves using HMRC’s free online portal.
It is important customers 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.
Customers can find out more about how to make a work-related expense claim and what type of expense they can claim at GOV.UK.
Speak to us if you need further advice on making a claim.