So, getting a tax refund yourself is the best option right?
If you really know what you’re doing and can actually get through to HMRC regarding your tax refund, of course you can.
But that assumes you’ve got lots of patience, plenty of time, and know exactly which areas of your tax you need to look at in each of the last 4 tax years. You’ll also need to know which allowances you were entitled to claim, where mistakes may have been made by HMRC or an employer, and most importantly, what questions you’re going to need to ask HMRC.
It also assumes you know enough about the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) rules so when you ask HMRC a question, you know the answers they give you are actually right, which may not always be the case! A survey of HMRC’s customer call centres by The Low Income Tax Reform Group found that HMRC consistently made mistakes – in some more complicated cases up to 80% of the answers they gave were wrong!
If you manage to get a tax refund yourself, you’ll need to know enough about tax to check it’s the right amount. If they pay you too much, you can be certain they’ll want it back in the future, even if you’ve spent it! It’s actually more likely they won’t pay you enough, so you might have missed out on a large refund we could have got back for you. Let’s be clear though, if they don’t send you enough, it’s most likely going to be your fault for not asking the right questions, not HMRC’s.
The other thing you need to be aware of (and this is something you never get told by all those people and websites who say you can do this yourself), is that by speaking directly to HMRC and asking them to open your file to check your tax, they might say you owe them money! They may be right, but the amount you owe could be much less than they’re telling you. Over 50% of the underpayment cases we look at are wrong! Unless you know what you’re doing, you’ll have no option but to pay them the amount they demand. They’ll probably just start taking it from your wages so you’ll have no choice.
Using our service, you’ll avoid these risks because we know exactly what we’re doing (as we should do having done this for over 2.9 million taxpayers in the last 22 years) and we’ll only contact HMRC if we think you’re owed a refund.