Need a tax refund? Watch out for scams and charges
Everyone likes the idea of a tax refund, and some firms claim to get bigger and better refunds. But take care.
While some of these firms may be genuine, others may submit inaccurate refund claims to HMRC on your behalf.
Firms which offer to get you a tax refund
Some firms charge a fee based on the size of the refund, so the bigger the supposed refund, the higher their fee.
Unfortunately, if the refund claim is incorrect, HMRC may initially pay the refund, but ask for it back later . By this stage you may have spent the money and paid the firm.
Doing it yourself
It is not essential to have a firm to obtain a refund for you. There is information on how to claim a refund on the HMRC website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/incometax/refund-reclaim.htm and on the TaxAid website
If you are unsure what to do, phone HMRC on the taxes helpline 0300 200 3300.
Getting professional help
If you need help and can afford to pay for it, be sure that you use a reputable firm. The TaxAid website page on ‘Other Sources of Advice’, has guidance on choosing an adviser.
You may receive fraudulent emails offering you a tax refund, which appear to come from HMRC. HMRC does not send out emails offering tax refunds. You can see more examples in the income tax section.