Tax refunds

"Just wanted to say thanks to RIFT Social Enterprise for going above and beyond by helping me to claim back over £1500 of overpaid PAYE Tax.  I would highly recommended using this service for anyone who thinks they may be owed money by HMRC."

former resident at hmp highpoint
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If a prisoner was working prior to coming into prison and paying tax via PAYE, there is a likelihood that they are entitled to a rebate of any tax that they have overpaid. This is because HMRC take tax at source on a 12-month, pro-rata basis. Additionally, if someone was self-employed, has served in the military or was working under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) before coming to prison, they may be entitled to reclaim tax on their travel to and from temporary work places, uniform costs, training courses etc.

It is very difficult for prisoners to pursue a tax refund claim independently due to the lack of internet and phone access. Additionally, they are required to submit various proofs of employment/income which can be hard to access whilst inside.

After a sustained period of piloting the viability of claiming tax refunds for people in prisons, we received support from the Ministry of Justice who were keen to promote this service across the prison estate, recognising that money in a prisoner’s pocket prior to release could significantly enhance their prospects of a successful rehabilitation (eg spending the refund on a rent deposit or equipment for a job)

As of November 2021, we deliver this service in 30+ prisons. 20% of all prisoners assessed on reception are eligible for a tax refund and the average refund that we have claimed for prisoners stands at £867. We have successfully reclaimed over £189k in tax refunds for people in prison.

RIFT Social Reform CIC, The Cobalt Building, 1600 Eureka Park, Lower Pemberton, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4BF

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