Tax Refund and Tax Return Process


How do I get started with my tax refund or tax return?

You can give us a call on 01280 821020, which we'd always recommend as it gives us the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, you simply click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button at the bottom of every page.

Do I qualify for a tax refund and how do I apply?

Working self-employed under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) or as a Sole Trader you are legally obliged to complete a tax return/self-assessment.

If as a PAYE employee you are incurring work based expenses for mileage, products or services you’re neither provided with or indeed fully reimbursed for by your company, you’re entitled to a tax refund.

Just give us a call and one of our team will discuss your circumstances and how we can help. We can then organise for a registration pack to be sent out to you.

I’ve received my registration pack, now what?

Read through our terms & conditions and the ‘Authorise your agent’ 64-8 form, along with the SA1, which enables you to obtain a UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference). Once you’re happy, just sign and return them, using the self-addressed FREEPOST envelope included.

Our team will have gone through the contents of the pack and explained everything you'll need in order to get your tax refund and tax return process started, however, if you have any further questions at this point, please don’t hesitate to call us.

How long does my registration take?

On receipt of your completed application, you are registered as a Bettertax client immediately. However, we do need to wait for authorisation from HMRC to work with them, on your behalf. We send your application to HMRC the day we receive it and if you already have a UTR number (which under CIS or as a sole trader, you should) it generally takes between 4 - 6  weeks for authorisation to come through.

If a UTR is being applied for this may delay the process a little.

What do I need to do?

Not a lot!

Being a CIS self-employed professional, you as the claimant are responsible for providing the pay and tax details for each tax year, so please ensure you're always provided with a payslip.

Sole traders should have a record and details of your gross earnings and expenditures.

PAYE clients should have P60’s for each tax year you want us to complete, don’t worry if you don't, we can request your employment history records from HMRC. This typically takes around three weeks to come through, but once we have this, we can started.

Your issued self-assessment (and UTR) will be received in the post but you don't have to take any action, simply give us a call and we'll get to work.

We’ll arrange an appointment for one of our tax advisors to go through your expenses with you, letting you know what you can and can't claim for, compiling and validating evidence to ensure that you get back the maximum tax refund you're legally entitled to.

Keeping accurate records will not only speed up your submission and tax rebate process, it's also a legal obligation.

What can I claim for?

The rules are quite complex and differ greatly between those for the self-employed and for those employed under PAYE.

Generally speaking, the guideline for what can be claimed is that which is incurred "wholly & exclusively" for the job. If your expenses can’t be justified under this banner, you (and us) will have a hard time substantiating your claim.

Our advice is always to account for EVERYTHING - then your tax advisor will be able to advise you if you can or cannot claim for the item, depending on the circumstances. It is always better to have too many receipts, so keep them all.

We’d recommend...

That you use a system that allows you to keep any earnings and tax records, receipts, bank statements and other expenses, safe and organised. A 12 slot system usually works best with a file or folder with a plastic wallet for each month of the year is usually best.

What happens from there?

It then takes up to 72 hours for us collate the information, complete your self-assessment tax return form and make the submission to HMRC.

For Sole Traders we'll be able to tell you how much tax will be due when we do the tax return  submission and you will receive a notification from HMRC about a week later confirming the amount. We will also receive this information so if you have any queries, do call us. Our invoice for our fee will be issued at this time.

I've had a receipt from HMRC

HMRC will send you a letter in the post detailing what your tax refund is. This letter can be sent out to you up to five weeks in advance of your refund being released and will of course state the amount refunded before our fee and VAT. Remember that we don't get paid until you do, so we'll do everything in our power to ensure that the process is as smooth and as fast a possible.

When will I receive my refund?

We are generally in a position to pay you your tax refund in 2 - 3 weeks from submission of the tax return. We never hold on to any money, so the day your tax rebate hits our client account, we will be in touch to take your bank details and transfer funds into your nominated account the very same day.

PAYE - will my tax code change?

There's every chance your tax code will change as HMRC assume your expenses will be the same every year, which of course, they won't be. If it changes, HMRC will let you know by letter or you may notice a change in your earnings. Let us know straight away if this occurs so it can be amended. Details of the new tax code can be found here.

Do you handle my tax return every year now?

YES! Once you are a registered client of ours, we can assist you with completing your self assessment tax return form every year. As soon as you have all your earnings details or P60 at hand, you can call us to get started, if we haven't spoken to you already. If you have any changes in circumstances, do give us a call and let us know.

What are your charges?

Our fees have been worked out to be what we believe is a fair structure for each employment status. All our fees are listed here and the individual pages CIS, PAYE and Sole Traders.

Where Can I Find Out More?

We're always happy to receive calls on 01280 821020 and give best advice or we have "Tax Return Toolkit" brochures and leaflets to flip through!


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