The ability to legally assign an income tax repayment, or the right to an income tax repayment, to a third party has been removed by HMRC from March 15 this year, meaning any repayment will remain the legal property of the taxpayer in question.
The change affects those who may have used a business, an accountancy firm, or a tax agent to facilitate their access to a repayment, along with any company involved in helping individuals in this way.
Why has this happened?
HMRC has made this ruling in a bid to protect taxpayers from unscrupulous operators in this sector, and to make the tax rebate system fairer and simpler for all. The Government wants to maintain trust in the sector, and to ensure that when taxpayers are entitled to claim a tax repayment, they can do so “easily and freely”.
There have also been some concerns around consumer protection issues in the “repayment agent” market, according to Gov.uk.
What are people being protected from?
There are contracts that many repayment agents ask their clients to sign which transfer the legal entitlement to the income tax repayment to them. What many people don’t understand is that to revoke this assignment, both parties must agree – it cannot be done by one side alone. Under these contracts, rogue agents can charge excessive fees to their clients and at times the client won’t benefit from other payments that they may not be aware of.
The bottom line is that you should either make the income tax repayment yourself, or work with an accountant you know and trust. In any case, at the very least, you should make sure you understand the implications of any piece of paper you’re signing.
We can help you meet your obligations
If you think you are due an income tax rebate, then we are happy to help advise you on the best way to get this sorted.