Jump to content


HMRC asking me to repay a rebate


Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

Back in March 2020, I was referred to a tax rebate company, Fast Tax Rebates (FTR), from a friend who told me they could help submit a claim to recover tax back on what I had paid over the 3 years - 17/18, 18/19, 19/20. I was given their contact email address, filled in a preset number of questions, and sent it off.

 

The process was, that I allow them access to my Government Gateway account, and provide them with tax returns and p60s so that their accountants could submit the claim. After emails and text messages back and forth, the claim got submitted and then around £3000 was paid out. FTR kept around 70% and I received around 30%, which was just over £1000.

 

A month ago from now (around a year later from the original claim submission), I received a letter in the post from HMRC saying they were investigating a tax rebate claim submitted by me for EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) relief. Obviously, I had no idea what this is or what they were referring to until I read on and saw FTR's name. I gathered that whatever FTR had submitted on my behalf, wasn't what they said it was and I wasn't even eligible in the first place.

 

I emailed HMRC using the contact details on the letter and explained it all, only to get a response saying that since it was submitted under my name, I'm 100% liable, regardless of who the "nominated" party was. I have until the end of June to repay I believe. HMRC is expecting me to pay back the full £3000, even though I only received a third of the total claim amount. The HMRC agent was quite sympathetic and explained this has happened to 100s if not 1000s of people, but at the end of the day, it's under my name.

 

I have full email threads and text message threads with FTR which I provided to HMRC too. Within them, there is no mention of EIS and nothing which shows I had any idea what it is or what it was. Looking back over the emails and texts, FTR was actually quite bullish, which on reflection, should've been a red flag. But, I was referred by a friend, and was under the impression I had a valid claim, or how else would they be able to successfully conduct a rebate claim.

 

I've tried reaching out to solicitors and they all say that I should pursue corporate litigation or something similar, however, they all say their costs outweigh the potential claim amount. One of them even recommended asking here, so here I am.

 

Any advice or points in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Apologies for the long post.

 

D
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thank you.

 

I don't think so - the company had an email address: [email protected] and domain: www.fasttaxrebate.co.uk.

 

Also, their logo is different to their email signature (attached).

 

Glad I kept all copies of emails and texts now!

 

 

Signature.pdf

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's them.

 

I spoke with a "Mike Hodgson - Sales Executive" on email and a "Claire" on text.

 

It may be worth mentioning: I've never owned my own business and have been working for almost 10 years, paying tax through PAYE at various jobs.

 

The first I'd ever heard of EIS was via the letter from HMRC.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So is there a regulator for the firm?

 

Also, what does your letter of engagement or whatever you signed with them say about what happens if HMRC wants a tax rebate back please? And are Fast Tax Rebates aware that you have a problem?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

I've just gone on to a few random tax rebate company websites, and none of them mention any regulation or regulators - I may be wrong?

 

I had not signed anything with FTR. No contract, no signatures, nothing. They never mentioned anything regarding whether HMRC want their money back either - it was never brought up.

 

I can't inform them there is an issue as their contact details no longer work. Even their website is down.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's disappointing. Mr O'Hara seems to have set up another tax consultancy last year.

 

FTR seem to be going still, though, because a new director has just been appointed.

 

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/12033598/officers

 

Alan O'Hara has set up four companies so far, two to do with tax.

 

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/officers/J_fn3QmgEuJTavKcV6ZRM8SqSZI/appointments

 

Is the friend who recommended FTR still in touch with them?

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

He's not no, but to be fair, he hasn't received a letter from HMRC yet. However, someone else I know has had their letter, so I presume only a matter of time.

 

Surely there's something I can do to combat this whole situation? Whether it's claiming against FTR or Alan himself as Director etc? £3000 is a lot of money to be paying a) when I only received 1/3 originally anyway, and 2) when I had been misinformed about what was happening.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've flagged your thread for the site team to see what can be done. In your position I would be angry.

 

So nobody else knows how to contact the firm?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, in theory, if they're still operating (hiring a new Director), then surely their email would be working?

I can try emailing, but what do I say?

I don't want to jeopardise anything, especially if they're unaware that people are getting these letters and may be seeking legal advice, like me.

 

A new Director has been hired, but it seems Alan has resigned too, all today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You and your friends may have to do some detective work on Alan Francis O'Hara to find where he is. He still seems to be in the North East of England. and there's an address for him on 192.com but I'm not a member.

 

HB

 

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no idea what to do with this information - is there not a case against the company?

 

Can you send me a link to the 192.com?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly. Then it would depend if the company has any assets. According to Companies House it hasn't filed any accounts yet and it was nearly struck off, there was a first notice in November last year.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tax advisers don't have to be regulated. There's a government consultation on whether they should be but that's no help to you now.

 

HMRC are right that a tax adviser is just your agent and you are responsible for anything the agent submits on your behalf. So if Fast Tax Rebate Ltd claimed a tax rebate for you which you aren't entitled to then you have to repay it to HMRC. The £1k you received comes from your pocket and Fast Tax Rebate Ltd return the £2k they kept. If you are satisfied that HMRC are right and you weren't entitled to a £3k tax rebate then by repaying it you aren't 'out of pocket' because you were never entitled to it in the first place.

 

Your £1k of it you'll just have to find one way or another. It's getting the £2k out of FTR that will be the challenge. In theory what you can do is straightforward. You appointed them to act as your tax agent, you paid them £2,000 to do that job, they did it incompetently and you want your £2,000 back. [ie, the £2,000 of the tax rebate they kept]. You write to Fast Tax Rebates Ltd  at their registered office following the usual pre-action protocols and if they don't pay you bring a small claims/MCOL action against them. I guess this what the solicitors you spoke to meant by you "should pursue corporate litigation or something similar".

 

At the moment there seems to be no grounds for a personal claim against Alan O'Hara, but I'd be interested to know what site team colleagues think. He is not only no longer a director but according to Companies House also no longer has a controlling interest [both ceased today]. Which probably means he's sold it to the new director.

 

We don't know what their defence will be (if any) and, importantly, what their terms and conditions are. Their website is not just down, the domain name appears to be for sale. 

 

But winning in court might not get you your money back. They've never filed accounts so we have no idea whether there is any cash in the company to pay a court award. It was set up as  £100 company by a  company formation agent and their 'registered office' is just a brass plate at the agent's address, along with hundreds of other comapnies. FTR don't operate from their registered office. it's not clear if they even have any actual physical business premises or whether it exists only as internet company.

 

However, if you don't contact them and tell them there is a problem nothing will ever happen! They have a registered office address so send them a copy of what you've received from HMRC and ask for their comment. Separately send them a Data Protection Subject Access Request. You can send them by email if their email is still working, but if so send a copy by post to the registered office address (get a free proof of posting from Post Office). Fast Tax Rebates Ltd 19 Main Street, Ponteland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE20 9NH

 

Do you have a copy of the tax returns they submitted? 

 

What time deadline are HMRC giving you to make the repayment?

 

It's possible that you get information suggesting that the company operated fraudulently, which would change things a lot. But at present you have no evidence of that.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this. I've had a look via my Government Gateway account and can only see submission receipt reference numbers for the returns.

 

The deadline given by HMRC in their email is 23 June for me to inform them of my decision, including if I want to appeal, which I presume is pointless.

 

So... my thought process:

 

1: I contact HMRC and tell them I wish to set up a payment plan to pay off the full amount.

2: In the meantime, I write to FTR and explain they failed under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to provide a service that was ‘fit for purpose’.

3: If FTR fail to repay me then I will need to take further action to secure the repayment, i.e. bring a small claims/MCOL action against them.

4: Also, send them a SAR for the data they have on me, and ask HMRC to revoke them as the "agent".

 

Is that all right - am I missing something?

 

PS: in '2', do I also send them an email with the letter PDF attached? Obviously, the letter is to be sent 1st class signed for so I can track receipt on the letter.

 

PPS: Are there any templates I can use to send the initial request for payment? Or is it simply a one liner?

 

Thanks for all your help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dixon,

 

Looking in as asked by Honeybee.

 

Dealing firstly with HMRC, they probably have a watertight case against you if you received a tax refund based on a fraudulent EIS claim. You owe HMRC all the refund, regardless of the huge amount taken by FTR.

 

1. Are HMRC reclaiming just the amount reclaimed for EIS relief or are they seeking penalties or interest on top.

 

2. Are you able to repay the amount owed by the end of June as required.

 

3. If not, you need to agree a repayment plan with HMRC

 

Turning to FTR and their responsibility in this matter, I think they are responsible for running what may be a scam but you and others share some responsibilty for allowing them to act on your behalf. Sounds like you heard of this by word of mouth and decided it would be nice to get a refund, without realising fraud was being committed in your name.

 

You have a good cause of action against FTR but your chance of getting a penny back from them is probably remote. We can look into this further in due course and maybe our Site Team @BankFodder will have views on this

 

I would be interested to know how HMRC came to look at your case and re-assess your refund. Rather than come across your case by chance, I suspect HMRC were checking on cases lodged by FTR seeking refunds for taxpayers which they realised may be fraudulent.

We could do with some help from you

                                                                PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

hi,

 

1. Yes, I believe so. They were quite sympathetic to me and as I understand I only owe what was incorrectly rebated.

 

2. Not anywhere close.

 

3. I think this is my only option.

 

I've just replied with what my next steps potentially could be - are they correct?

 

Thanks again!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just had a quick look at the FTR UK site. It's no longer functioning and in fact the domain name is simply parked.

 

I'm very sorry to say that this is the company that either no longer exists or simply doesn't want to be found.

I can imagine they are the sort of company that is very slick at handling these kinds of things and I would be amazed if you could sue them and if you got judgement that you could enforce a judgement.

I'm sorry to say that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

HMRC will be completely unsympathetic and I think you had better set your differences with them very quickly because they don't muck around. If they feel that you are honest and cooperative then they may cut you a bit of slack

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dixon,

 

Personally I think you'll be wasting your time hoping for any solution from FTR, for reasons already said by both me and BankFodder in our 2 lest posts.

 

Contact HMRC in writing (letter or email) confirming that you have been scammed by FTR who took 70% of the refund paid by HMRC. As a PAYE tax payer, you need time to repay what HMRC say is now due, so you are able to offer to repay them at £xxx per month. See how they resond but do NOT discuss this with HMRC by phone - keep it all in writing only.

 

Site Team will have a discussion about this to see what other options you have, if any. We'll come back to you on this but get your offer off to HMRC in the meantime.

We could do with some help from you

                                                                PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fast Tax Rebates Ltd
19 Main Street
Ponteland
England
NE20 9NH

 

Company Number: 12033598

 

Company Type: Private Limited Company

 

Incorporated: 5th June 2019

 

Company Status: Active

 

Director: Anthony William McNabb

 

Companies House link:

 

FIND-AND-UPDATE.COMPANY-INFORMATION.SERVICE.GOV.UK

FAST TAX REBATES LTD - Free company information from Companies House including registered office address, filing history, accounts, annual return...

 

 

I agree with what has been previously stated but that does not stop you doing the following as well:

 

1. Send a Subject Access Request (SAR) to Fast Track Rebates Ltd (at the above linked address) asking for 'ALL DATA' that simple phrase covers whatever format that company hold that data in whether it be phone calls, emails, writing etc. they then have 30 Calender days to respond only once they have acknowledged your SAR Request but this may be extended if they ask you to prove your identity.

 

2. Contact Fast tax Rebates Ltd and ask them to provide you with their Registration Number for the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) as they have accessed your personal data and should be registered with the ICO.

 

3. Reference above I would also contact the ICO and ask them to confirm with yourself if this company (use the details in the companies house link I provided) if they are registered and their ICO Register Number. If they confirm they do not have one then make a comlaint to them that Fast Tax Rebates Ltd were proccessing your data and had access to your data.

 

Information Commissioners Office (ICO) link:

 

 
ICO.ORG.UK

The homepage

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

They appointed a new director yesterday so I presume it's still in operation?

 

I've already contact HMRC as soon as I got the letter a month ago, and explained the whole situation - attaching all email threads and text threads with FTR. I presume it's because they're aware it's not me and was done "on my behalf" wrongly, they say they "empathise" with me and so only requesting me to pay the original rebate amount and nothing more.

 

I've sent the SAR via email and via post this morning! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dixon,

 

Please also send a SAR to HMRC now.

 

Have you reached agreement with HMRC yet about the rate at which you can repay them ?

We could do with some help from you

                                                                PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Why would I send an SAR to HMRC - what would I be asking for exactly? I don't want to annoy them or anything like that and make it seem like i'm being pedantic. Also, who would I send this to/address it to?

 

HMRC are asking me to pay the full amount, but I've not had a response yet in relation to a payment plan or anything of the sort.

 

May also be worth mentioning:

 

I've logged in to HMRC online just now and can see this from taking a look at my previous tax rebate form (first time I've checked)... it clearly states the money was paid to FTR and that they mentioned the EIS in the rebate - something I had no idea about, like I said...

 

https://i.postimg.cc/JnKs51pw/Screenshot-2021-06-10-at-10-02-27-am.png

 

https://i.postimg.cc/kXNgQMGT/Screenshot-2021-06-10-at-10-02-46-am.png

 

Surely this can prove, based on my email and text copies to the company in which they never once mentioned EIS, and the fact it was written in the rebate submitted by FTR, that it's been done fraudulently? There MUST be something I can do :(

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...