Life is expensive these days. So, if there is an opportunity to save money or – even better – to get some cash back from a purchase made then it makes sense to take it. There are more potential refunds available than most people realise – in fact, you could save thousands of pounds on refunds when you know where to look for them. These are just a few of the potential savings that are available to anyone who takes advantage of them.
Student loan refunds
Repaying student loans is not exactly something that graduates look forward to doing. When you leave university you’re meant to have a break between finishing university and starting to make repayments. For most people that break is about nine months, as the requirement to start making repayments only applies from the April after graduation. There is also a threshold limit and if you don’t earn enough to reach this level then you’re not required to start making student loan repayments. However, if you have an employer who is not particularly savvy about when student loan payments begin, or has the wrong information about your university dates, then you may have been making payments unnecessarily. All you have to do to get that money back is call the loan provider and ask them.
Energy bill refunds
The cost of energy is constantly increasing and yet many people don’t realise that they are paying too much. If your energy bills are being taken by direct debit then you may be overpaying. Energy companies tend to bill on the basis of estimates and so you can often end up paying too much if the actual energy usage is lower. As a result your account may be in credit and you can request that back as a refund. Some people who have done this have found themselves with hundreds of pounds of credit to refund. All you have to do is go online and see whether your account is in credit. If you are significantly in credit you can also ask for your direct debit estimates to be lowered.
Uniformed worker tax rebates
It requires a really good accountant to take advantage of all the different tax rates and rebates that are available depending on what you do for a living. However, some of these are easy to access yourself. For example if you wear a uniform to work – whether that’s an actual uniform or just a branded top – , as long as you wash it yourself, you may be able to get a tax rebate. The tax rebate will be between £12 to £74 a year and can be backdated up to four years so you could receive several hundred pounds back.
Refunds for legal fees
Specifically, if you have a Lasting Power of Attorney that you took out between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 in England and Wales then you’re highly likely to have paid around £110 for it. This is actually more than you should have paid and so you’re entitled to a refund of up to £54 for each Power of Attorney. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives someone you trust the power to act on your behalf if you no longer have the mental capacity to do so. This could cover the way that your money and property is handled, as well as crucial decisions such as those involving medical matters. LPA refunds are easily claimed, either via the Office of the Public Guardian’s website or by calling 0300 456 0300.
Tax rebates for partners
If you are married or you’re in a civil partnership then you could be due a tax rebate. The marriage (and civil partnerships) tax allowance applies to couples where there is one person who is paying basic rate tax and the other partner is a non-tax payer. If you or your other half is not working then you can apply to have 10% of your annual tax free allowance transferred across to the partner who is working. This would result in a rebate of several hundred pounds a year. The rebate was introduced three years ago and claims can be backdated to the date that it was launched, making an even more impressive refund total possible.
These are just some of the rebates that are available to those who fit the criteria. With even one or two of these rebates it could be possible to save several thousand pounds, creating cash that you can use elsewhere whether that’s for holidays or home improvements.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read more about Alex Hartley