income-tax

Benjamin Franklin once famously quoted that the only two guaranteed things in life are death and taxes. While nobody enjoys paying taxes, they are quite simply just a regular part of life. But fret not, in this article we will be discussing something a little more interesting – tax rebates. Tax rebates are simply money returned to taxpayers who have overpaid on their taxes.

Here, we look at 7 reasons why you could be due a tax refund or rebate. For more information on tax rebates, check out this website.

Top 7 Reasons I Could Be Due A Tax Refund

You work in the healthcare industry

If you’re a nurse, doctor or healthcare worker, congratulations. Not only are you making a difference in people’s lives, but you are also eligible for a tax refund.

As most health workers are required to wear a uniform of some kind to work every day i.e. scrubs and lab, you are allowed to claim a tax rebate on laundry and cleaning expenses for your uniform. This can be done by making a tax allowance claim on the cost of cleaning your uniform.

However, the amount claimable is dependent on your occupation. For example, paramedics or ambulance staff on active service are allowed to claim up to £140 while ancillary/support staff like maintenance workers and security guards can only make a claim of £60 only.

Along with this, if you are a member of bodies such as Unison, RCN, NMC, HCPC, SSSC, or are currently paying for professional indemnity insurance, you are also eligible for a tax relief of up to 20% on those costs.

You were taxed incorrectly

The largest source of tax refunds actually comes from overpayment of taxes. Errors such as incorrect calculations, payroll mistakes, the wrong tax credits being applied can mean that you have been overpaying your taxes.

A lack of knowledge when it comes to taxation along with inexperience can make it impossible to spot any taxation errors. Fortunately, an experienced tax agent will be able to spot any inconsistencies and help you claim back any extra taxes that you have paid.

When all of the figures have been added up, this can come to a huge amount of overpaid taxes. Talk about a real windfall!

Your current occupation

Just as we mentioned previously, employees working in the health industry are able to claim tax allowances for certain expenses related to their occupation. However, one lesser known fact is that workers in other industries are also eligible for tax allowances.

For example, teachers, beauticians, tradesmen, hospitality workers, retail workers and even beauticians are eligible for what is known as Flat Rate Expenses. The amount deductible from your tax is dependent on your annual income and occupation. Flat Rate Expenses are deducted against your tax bill and can range from a mere £42 per annum to a whopping £2,476 per annum i.e. 20% or 41% of your annual income.

To check if your occupation is eligible for the Flat Rate Expenses deduction, speak to an experienced tax agent to learn more.

Your marital status

While some folks may complain that their previous marriage nearly ended in their death, the HRMC thinks otherwise. If you are married, chances are you can be eligible to pay lower taxes. Married couples can opt to be jointly assessed and are given the option to share their Personal Tax Credits with each other to reduce the cost of the overall tax bill. Convenient isn’t it?

While the refund on this tends to vary, it helps if one spouse is on a higher income whereas the other is on a lower income range. Along with this, if you are married, are currently renting and meet the required criteria for Rent Tax Credit, you will be able to make a claim on your Rent Tax Credit allowance.

If you are single, you will also be able to claim a Rent Tax Credit allowance but the Rent Tax Credit is doubled for married couples.

Another interesting fact that comes into play is whether you have kids and whether one spouse stays home to care for them. This makes the family eligible for a Home Carers Tax Credit which can be worth up to £810 per year – making it a nice bit of extra cash for the family.

You are a single father/mother

If you are a single parent and are not living together with another partner, you will be eligible for the One Parent Family Tax Credit. The One Parent Family Tax Credit allows single parents who are not co-habiting and who have their child stay with them for one night a year to claim up to £1,650 a year.

While previously both the mother and father were eligible for the One Parent Family Tax Credit, as of 2014, the rules have been tightened. Now, only the recipient of the Child Benefit payments (as long as they are not co-habiting) is eligible for the One Parent Family Tax Credit.

You’ve held a full medical card at some point

If you’ve previously held a medical card of some kind, chances are you could be owed a tax refund from the government. Medical cards exempt tax payers from paying the top rate of the Universal Social Charge (USC) which is 7%.

Hence, if you’ve previously held a medical card, you may want to reach out to your tax agent to determine if you’ve been overpaying on your taxes.

You’ve changed jobs in the one year

Changing jobs can be a tricky affair when it comes to taxes. There’s the issue of paying extra taxes or emergency taxes and your tax credits may be all over the place. If you’ve had gaps in your employment or changed jobs during the year, you might want to consider enlisting the help of an experienced tax agent to review your taxes to determine if there’s anything owed to you.

Conclusion

While doing your taxes can be stressful and difficult, a little patience and persistence can go a long way. Consider speaking to a skilled tax consultant to determine if you’ve overpaid on your taxes and are now due a refund.