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Top tips for efficient tax returns

Isobel Lawrance 9th Sep 2022 One Comment

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As the country faces an energy crisis which will impact the lives of millions, it is important to note that over £20 billion in tax benefits went unclaimed last year. Tax returns can be confusing for many and seem daunting. It can be a convoluted process, putting many people off even considering it. 

Little is known about the annual refunds workers can claim back, particularly in PAYE and blue-collar industries. Are you eligible for a tax returns you didn’t know about? Here is how to get what is rightfully yours. 

Tommy Mcnally, a leading tax expert and founder of the tax-return app Tommys Tax, provides his top tips to help you efficiently manage your tax return. It may even alleviate some financial worries you have within the current climate. 

Claim your food costs

There are many reasons you may be able to claim a full refund on your food costs. If you travel for more than one and a half hours a day to work, leave home before 6am or work past 8pm, you could be eligible for tax returns. In fact, you could claim a maximum of £.7.50 per day! If you are travelling to more than one location for work purposes, or are staying overnight, you can also claim a tax refund on food expenses. 

Claim uniform costs

You could claim up to £16 a week for your laundry if you wear a uniform for work. Refunds also apply to repairing and replacing your uniform. You cannot, however, claim back on the initial cost of buying clothing for work. 

uniform tax returns

Claim travel expenses

If travelling is a common aspect of your job, you could claim tax refunds on your travel costs. If you have travelled to two different locations, you may be eligible. This relief is also applicable to those whose employers do not cover expenses themselves. For example, if you drive a company car or use a company fuel card, you may not be eligible for a tax return. If, however, you use public transport or have aid for parking or congestion charges, you could claim some money back. 

Claim back training costs

If your employer does not cover training costs but the training is imperative for you to perform your role efficiently, you could claim tax back for this. For example, a health and safety course or food hygiene course may be required in your line of work. 

Hotel accommodation costs

Staying in hotels or alternative accommodation may sometimes be required as part of your work. If you have stayed in a hotel due to attending a conference, work part or training course, you could claim tax relief on these costs. Similarly, if you are staying in accommodation due to working somewhere temporarily, you could claim back money on this. 

Claim back on electronics

Electronics are a part of everyday work life for many of us. If this applies to you, you may be able to claim a tax refund on items such as laptops, printers and even stationary. If there is any other equipment you use for your line of work that is not for private use, you could claim on this also. 

Claim back on mobile phone usage

If you use your own mobile phone or personal device to make work calls, texts or check your work emails, you could claim a tax refund on this. If you are a business owner or you are self-employed, you can expense full costs of your mobile phone bills. However, this is only the case if your mobile phone contract is held in the name of the company and payments are made directly from a business bank account. 

Claim back on working from home

If you live too far from your office and must work from home, or your employer does not have an office, you could claim tax returns. Similarly, if you are self-employed and work from home, you could get some tax relief. You could claim a refund on gas, electricity and even broadband costs. However, this is only if they are used for your work. 

Claim back payroll admin fees

Business owners and those who are self-employed can claim tax relief on payroll admin fees. 

Claim back on memberships

Some fields of work require memberships to professional bodies or trade unions. If this is expected of you to perform your duties, you could claim a tax refund on this. Annual subscriptions to approved professional bodies or societies can also be claimed back on.
Tommy Mcnally, CEO of Tommys Tax comments:

“With nearly everyone impacted by the increasing cost of living across the board, there are ways in which people can inject a much needed boost into their bank accounts. One of these ways is the many tax rebates that people are eligible for, but don’t make use of and that is where we’re here to help. Taxes can be boring, confusing and anxiety-inducing, but if done right could make a real difference to people’s lives.”

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1 year ago

Tax returns always seem a bit scary!

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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