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Exorbitant tax refund commissions can rip off consumers

by Kobus Van den Bergh | Feb 04, 2010
  • According to various news reports, it is alleged that various UK-based Tax refunds agents are engaging in exploitative practices in the form of excessive commission charges on tax refunds claims managed for their customers. Numerous UK firms have been identified for taking anything between 19% and 40% of tax payer’s refunds.

    Tax refunds agents in the UK, 1st Contact, claim that it is unnecessary to fleece customers with excessive commission rates. 1st Contact has set a commission rate of 12.5%, which presents the best rate in the market.

    This comes with a guaranteed professional team of top experts combined with an established and long standing relationship with the relevant UK authorities.

    According to John Dunn , Tax Refunds manager at 1st Contact “we advise individuals to be wary of tax agents that are offering a commission below 12.5%, as this type of offer usually typifies fly by night companies that could take the money of unsuspecting customers, only to close down in the blink of an eye.”

    "We advise individuals to be wary of tax agents that are offering a commission below 12.5%"

    Senior management at 1st Contact explain that their offices across the globe are increasingly receiving calls from distressed consumers who have been referred to 1st Contact, only after seeing their hard-earned cash taken by unscrupulous fly-by-night operators. The issue has also hit news headlines, with the Guardian exposing one firm charging a customer £1,500 for an error on the part of the Inland Revenue. Tax Rebates and the process of claiming tax back requires transparency, stresses 1st Contact.

    The more transparent the tax agent is the better equipped individuals will be to safeguard against exploitation. Dunn adds that it is advisable for individuals to check that the tax agent is registered with the ATA (Association of Tax Agents). The ATA are a regulatory body that will ensure that customers have 100% guaranteed protection on their tax refund claim.

    “Failure to present a proven track record or an established relationship with the UK government and ATA is enough evidence to expose fly by night tax agents,” says Dunn.

    1st Contact is regarded by many as having set the benchmark for good practice given its experience in handling over 100 000 tax rebate cases to date.

    Dunn explains that 1st Contact work on a policy of “no refund, no charge” and the company’s membership with the ATA ensures clients can have 100% guaranteed protection on their tax refund claim.

    “While tracking the claims of each customer, we keep each individual regularly updated by text message, e-mail or phone. No other company in the UK makes more submissions to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs than 1st Contact.”

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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