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In a scenario reminiscent of David and Goliath a small firm of tax specialists is about to launch a battle with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs on behalf of thousands of workers who they believe are being unfairly treated. The problem relates to construction workers on PAYE who travel from site to site and can therefore claim tax relief on their travel costs. Having claimed a certain amount for one tax year HMRC then makes the assumption that they will travel exactly the same distance next year and claim exactly the same mileage and taxes them accordingly. However, in this industry, distances travelled are almost impossible to estimate and can vary dramatically from one year to the next. The result is that a hard week’s work can result in as little as £45 in the pay packet.

Rift Ltd is a tax consultancy specialising in advising construction workers. Managing Director, Janette Post, is incensed at HMRC’s refusal to examine their clients’ plight and consider appropriate changes to their tax coding. Says Post: “Since HMRC decided to introduce this tax coding in the winter of 2004 we have made repeated attempts to discuss the hardship their decision has forced our clients – and indeed a huge number of construction workers – to endure. However, they have stonewalled us at every turn and obviously hope that if they ignore us for long enough we will simply shut up and go away. They are about to find out just how wrong they are. I am not prepared to sit back and watch people suffer because HMRC refuses to see common sense. Unless we have at least an agreement to discuss this situation so that we can argue our case, I see no alternative but to take legal action.”

HMRC would do well to take Post seriously because she has some heavy artillery on her side. One of the UK’s leading tax experts is John Walters QC and he is confident that Rift can force them to back down. Having considered the legislation he is of the opinion that Rift and their clients are justified in complaining that HMRC insist on making adjustment to codes in these circumstances. He has suggested an appeal to the Tax Appeal Commissioners and, if necessary, the General Commissioners where he will present their case.

In the past few years Rift has clawed back literally millions of pounds from the tax man on behalf of their clients and Post is undaunted at the prospect of the battle ahead. “For the last three years we have tried to persuade the Revenue to formally review this policy, but to no avail. Someone has to take up arms on behalf of people who would find it impossible to do so themselves, and it looks like its going to be us.”


Further information from:

Janette Post
Rift Ltd
Tel: 01233 628648

Alice Spink
Windmill Communications
Tel: 01622 851330

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Windmill Communications in the following categories: Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Construction & Property, for more information visit