tax refunds

I've just used that tax refund company from the forces discount brochure to get me a tax rebate of £1150, however i have had to pay them 40% of that for the privilege. I always thought that overpaid tax was refunded at the end of each final year, but this goes back as far as 01-02 so obviously not. Isn't there a way to check this yourself to avoid paying the 40% to companies like these?
If you go through your AGC Clerk they can ask APC Glasgow to do a prior year tax calculation for you.

If its this years tax, they can usually run a tax re-assessment if its been wrong for more than a couple of months.
Anything less than that and they will ask you to wait to see if it re-assess's itself. Check your coding first as if its Month 1 Week 1 this will not reassess over the last year, as it works on a month by month basis.
The only real way to save the 40% is to do it yourself. Download the tax calculator forms from the Inland Revenue Website and go through the maths. It takes some time, but is worth it as most of us over pay our tax every year or do not claim legitimate expenses (such mileage allowance if you use your own car for 'business' travel). If you think you have overpaid then you can request a self assessment form to claim your tax back.
If you register with the site, you can look back at the tax you have paid over the past 6 or 7 years. You can also submit returns/requests on line.
Ahhh ....the Inland Revenue, little short of organised crime IMHO.

I have just recently been involved with them over refund issues and quite frankly I was shocked at how they conduct business, some thoughts -

1. If you fail to complete a tax return on time they will make a 'Determination' , in may case, £500 that they thought I owed. I did not receive my 02/03 and had to submit it at the same time as 03/ 04. My 03/04 return showed that I was overcharged and I was owed a substaintial refund. However, the £500 02/03' Determination' was subtracted from that refund and they are still deciding how much I owe. Of course, the IR are charging ME interest (on a daily rate) but wil not be paying me interst on my money that they have had for 2 years !!!

2. Many of my work collegues and friends have had massive problems with the IR over the last two years - It is my thinking that senior people in the IR and old Greasy Gordon himself are behind this. Someting is going on in dusty corridors.

3. Most people I know that are obliged to put in a Tax Return have received a letter from the IR telling them not to bother for 04/05. People I speak to think that this is because -

a. The IR is actually under resourced to handle the returns.
b. The majority of people DO get a refund and therefore it is not in the interests of the IR to spend the resource calculating the tax, only to issue a refund.Better to keep quiet and retain all our overpaid tax.

My advice is, despite what they say, request a tax pack and claim for every single penny you possibly can.

I say that if you don't put a return in, you are ripping yourself off -most people are owed a refund and the IR have worked that out!!!
I totally agree with you Hootch.

I had to sort out 3 years worth of tax returns in one weekend last year to keep the IR happy. They had been sending all my paperwork to Sandhurst where I hadn't been for over 10 years, but managed to find me with a single tel call when they decided they wanted to take me to court for not paying their 'determination' of what I owed!

It turned out they owed me over £900 plus interest. Thankfully this meant that the £400 worth of fines were written off as you only pay these if you owe the IR money. After all this they then sent me a letter saying that I now longer needed to submit a self assessment form, obviously because they know that they will owe me money each year. Believe me I will be submitting my forms within a week of recieving our P60s this year as I will be owed at least £300. I would advise everyone to carry out the basic calculation and to take the time and effort to fill the forms in.

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