‘My home tax relief job disappeared after I used a site that looked like HMRC’

To exclude, to expel:

Julie Pulford unwittingly used a third-party company to process her tax refund claim after it became clear she was dealing with HMRC. We explain what to look out for

Julie Pulford says her tax break simply disappeared
Julie Pulford says her tax break simply disappeared

A woman has issued a warning to other taxpayers after being pickpocketed when trying to claim a refund.

Mother of two Julie Pulford, who works in a school in Twickenham, accidentally used third party company to process her request after being convinced that she is processing HMRC.

She was advised by her employer that she could get a tax break due to work from home during that time Coronavirus pandemic.

You can claim tax relief for £6 per weekwith the amount you get back based on the tax you pay.

For example, if you pay a base tax rate of 20%, you’ll get £1.20 per week in tax relief – this adds up to around £60 per year.

Here’s what Julie expected in return – but she said the claim was issued to a company instead of her bank account.

Julie believes she was dealing with HMRC but instead used a claim refund company to process the discount on her behalf after seeing an ad on Facebook.

These companies say they can help consumers reduce taxes – but the difference is that they charge up to 48%. HMRC does it for free.

Do you get out of pocket when using a company that claims a refund? Let us know:

“The logo and online branding are similar in color to HMRC and very convincing. It’s an online form and remember it’s really easy to do,” says Julie.

“My employer said it was really easy and it was an online form so I didn’t think about it.”

What? How was it warned before? claim refunds companies are using similar brand and language as HMRC – e.g. same teal color and similar fonts and phrases.

Consumer advocates argue that this can lead people to believe they are being contacted by the government agency itself.

Companies are allowed to process your rebate by requiring customers to sign legally binding contracts known as “deed of assignment”.

If the claim is successful, HMRC will typically mail a discount check to the company. It takes a fee, and then pays you what’s left.

Alarmingly, depending on the terms, the “deed of transfer” could then stay in place beyond the initial discount.

These companies are not regulated so are not subject to the same rules as claim management companies (CMCs).

They also do not need to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and consumers cannot file complaints with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Julie told The Mirror her tax refund was sent to a company called Tax Credits Ltd.

They charge an actual fee of 48% to process your request – but so far, Julie says she hasn’t received a dime back.

“During the entire process and including during the phone call, I believe Tax Credit was the one that issued the work-from-home tax relief,” she said.

“I called HMRC and spoke to a customer service advisor who was critical and said the check was sent.

“I have asked many questions and still believe that my money has been given to a legal department of the tax authority called Tax Credits.

“Only when I followed the question did I find out what had happened.”

An HMRC spokesperson told The Mirror they encourage all customers to come directly to HMRC to make their claims.

They added: “We do not endorse or use outside actors in any way to make people aware of claims they may make and to take resolute action against any influence. who do not comply with the law.

“We urge anyone thinking of using a tax refund company to actively read the company’s terms and conditions on documents and websites, so that they understand in advance the fees they will pay. , the service they subscribe to, and any legal contracts they may enter.”

HMRC said it plans to hold a consultation this year on how to address the high costs for taxpayers of claiming a refund.

Tax Credits Ltd did not respond to a request for comment.

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Fry Electronics Team

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