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  • FIRST POST
    AstroBoy72
    Scammed by Entitlements Agency
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:11 PM
    Scammed by Entitlements Agency 16th Jul 12 at 12:11 PM
    My wife was overpaying tax all last year so, we looked for the official tax website to find out how to get a refund. Like !!!!!!! idiots we thought taxrebate.co.uk was the official site to get the tax refunds so, filled out the form to get the refund pack. Filled out the form and waited for them to get back to us (still thinking it was a refund branch of the official HM Revenue & Customs).

    We received a letter from HM Revenue & Customs saying she was untitled to a refund and repayment would be made to The Entitlements Agency which we still thought was a part of the HM Revenue & Customs.

    Today we get a letter and cheque minus;
    17% processing fees +VAT.

    We were thinking why would the HM Revenue & Customs be charging fees when we realised that this is not all we thought it to be. You might think we were stupid but, there was no mention of any type of fees that would have to be paid and they made it look like they were from HM Revenue & Customs.

    Do we have any chance of getting this reversed or at least getting the fees reduced, we haven't put the cheque in the bank yet?

    I don't understand how this is allowed to happen, my wife worked very very hard for the money and we are in a situation where we really need it!

    Any advice would be great. BTW; they didn't send the P60 back with the cheque, should we be worried?
    Last edited by AstroBoy72; 16-07-2012 at 2:21 PM.
Page 1
  • 00ec25
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:43 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:43 PM
    harsh but true - the fact you did not realise it was not HRMC is down to you - did you not wonder why a government website would be a .co.uk rather than a .gov.uk?

    there are any number of companies that will provide rebate "services" for you ... for a fee. Harsh but true - if you sign up with such compnaies then you have a contract with them and cannot expect to get out of that contract just because you did not understand what you were buying- they provided the service and you agreed to pay them for doing so

    Just like there are companies that look like Land Registry when you do a search on that term
    I am not being paid to type so will not correct typos unless it reads double dutch
  • AstroBoy72
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:50 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:50 PM
    harsh but true - the fact you did not realise it was not HRMC is down to you - did you not wonder why a government website would be a .co.uk rather than a .gov.uk?

    there are any number of companies that will provide rebate "services" for you ... for a fee. Harsh but true - if you sign up with such compnaies then you have a contract with them and cannot expect to get out of that contract just because you did not understand what you were buying- they provided the service and you agreed to pay them for doing so

    Just like there are companies that look like Land Registry when you do a search on that term
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    Thanks for that helpful post Do you work for these people?
  • Regshoe
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:54 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:54 PM
    I would doubt that you have any come back on this. It doesn't seem like their website implies that they are HMRC, they have their registered company details on the website and their "About Us" page makes it fairly clear that they are an agency dealing with claims, additionally the (current) website doesn't look like it has been designed to look misleadingly like the HMRC site.

    On the claim form I looked at they state:

    "What will happen
    Once your forms are recieved we will liaise with the Inland Revenue HMRC) to determine your
    entitlement. This will be checked to make sure you receive the maximum genuine rebates.
    Once conrmed your rebate will be sent via cheque. The Entitlements Agency will retain
    17% excluding VAT for processing and administration."

    Then a little later there is a section about assigning your payment to The Entitlements Agency.

    I don't think you could legitimately claim to have been mislead and although the charge is fairly high for a simple job it is not ridiculously so.

    I'm assuming of course that the website and form look the same now as when you signed up - if they were not and were deliberately misleading you might have a chance, but I wouldn't count on it.

    Edit: As an addendum - I recently dealt with what should have been a basic reclaim for a client, charged a little less than the figure above, but in the end I think I undercharged as it was far more trouble than it should have been, as I had to make a number of calls to HMRC to explain that they had made a mistake and needed to correct it. Generally you should be able to make these sort of claims yourself with no hassle - but sometimes they can cause issues that you might struggle to correct yourself.

    I'm not saying these claims companies are always worth it - they are probably more along the lines of PPI reclaim firms - not worth it 99.9% of the time, but for those 0.1% of occasions when it's not totally straight forward they may be a valid option.
    Last edited by Regshoe; 16-07-2012 at 1:00 PM.
  • 00ec25
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:57 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 12, 12:57 PM
    Any advice would be great.
    Originally posted by AstroBoy72
    Thanks for that helpful post Do you work for these people?
    Originally posted by AstroBoy72
    you asked... you got help! If you don't like the answer, then don't ask on an open forum
    I almost fell into the same trap myself wihen looking for info from the Land Registry which is why I posted. You have no chance of a refund
    I am not being paid to type so will not correct typos unless it reads double dutch
  • AstroBoy72
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 12, 1:21 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 12, 1:21 PM
    you asked... you got help! If you don't like the answer, then don't ask on an open forum
    I almost fell into the same trap myself wihen looking for info from the Land Registry which is why I posted. You have no chance of a refund
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    I asked for advice not criticism, thanks anyway.
  • AstroBoy72
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 12, 1:28 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 12, 1:28 PM
    I would doubt that you have any come back on this. It doesn't seem like their website implies that they are HMRC, they have their registered company details on the website and their "About Us" page makes it fairly clear that they are an agency dealing with claims, additionally the (current) website doesn't look like it has been designed to look misleadingly like the HMRC site.

    On the claim form I looked at they state:

    "What will happen
    Once your forms are recieved we will liaise with the Inland Revenue HMRC) to determine your
    entitlement. This will be checked to make sure you receive the maximum genuine rebates.
    Once conrmed your rebate will be sent via cheque. The Entitlements Agency will retain
    17% excluding VAT for processing and administration."

    Then a little later there is a section about assigning your payment to The Entitlements Agency.

    I don't think you could legitimately claim to have been mislead and although the charge is fairly high for a simple job it is not ridiculously so.

    I'm assuming of course that the website and form look the same now as when you signed up - if they were not and were deliberately misleading you might have a chance, but I wouldn't count on it.

    Edit: As an addendum - I recently dealt with what should have been a basic reclaim for a client, charged a little less than the figure above, but in the end I think I undercharged as it was far more trouble than it should have been, as I had to make a number of calls to HMRC to explain that they had made a mistake and needed to correct it. Generally you should be able to make these sort of claims yourself with no hassle - but sometimes they can cause issues that you might struggle to correct yourself.

    I'm not saying these claims companies are always worth it - they are probably more along the lines of PPI reclaim firms - not worth it 99.9% of the time, but for those 0.1% of occasions when it's not totally straight forward they may be a valid option.
    Originally posted by Regshoe
    We didn't fill out the reclaim form online, we requested one to be posted. I can remember if it looked the same as the one online but, pretty sure it didn't. We had no idea there were agencies that did this sort of thing so, assumed it was official and probably overlooked some of the details however, I think alarm bells would have rung out if I saw any mention of percentages/fees.

    Nothing we can do, apart from submit them to Anonymous I guess

    I'm just a little worried about what my wife may have signed now, they still have her P60 and we think she is due another refund.
  • PlutoinCapricorn
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 12, 1:36 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 12, 1:36 PM
    AstroBoy, I hope that you will stay with MSE as it is full of useful information and helpful people. Those tax reclamation companies at best take advantage of people's ignorance, at worst - in some cases - they say that you cannot claim rebates yourself but must use their services. MSE always tells people to claim directly from HMRC themselves and not to use a rebate company.

    Look out for EHIC companies too: apparently they charge you for something that you can get free, and many people assume that they are the official source.
    Who having known the diamond will concern himself with glass?

    Rudyard Kipling


  • AstroBoy72
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 12, 1:46 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 12, 1:46 PM
    AstroBoy, I hope that you will stay with MSE as it is full of useful information and helpful people. Those tax reclamation companies at best take advantage of people's ignorance, at worst - in some cases - they say that you cannot claim rebates yourself but must use their services. MSE always tells people to claim directly from HMRC themselves and not to use a rebate company.

    Look out for EHIC companies too: apparently they charge you for something that you can get free, and many people assume that they are the official source.
    Originally posted by PlutoinCapricorn
    Thanks, a lesson learn't! that money was really needed!!!
  • PlutoinCapricorn
    We all have to start somewhere, and no one tells us these things at school: we seem fated to learn them the hard way.

    Many first timers come to MSE with similar stories: there was one recently who had bought foreign currency and then learned that it could be obtained at a better rate with lower commission elsewhere. He used the word 'scam', which is inappropriate in such cases.

    It is advisable to research and look around online before buying or signing up for anything.

    Perhaps other people will find your post while doing that, so you will save them some money - I don't remember this particular company being mentioned before, although many others have been.
    Who having known the diamond will concern himself with glass?

    Rudyard Kipling


  • AstroBoy72
    freeindex.co.uk/profile%28the-entitlements-agency%29_257162.htm

    Very interesting reviews. Also stick this in your address bar, I think this might have been the url we used inland-revenue.org.uk

    We have the cheque but, will it clear???? They are not answering the phone, can't say I'm surprised.
    Last edited by AstroBoy72; 16-07-2012 at 2:11 PM.
  • PlutoinCapricorn
    Googling them brings up some interesting information. You may have been right in the first place: there is a big difference between a legitimate company that does something that you could do for yourself, and one that deliberately misleads and cheats people. It seems that they DID try to look like HMRC. See below ...

    By the way, in the past people who have used tax rebate companies have been advised to let HMRC know that they no longer have an agent, as otherwise even if you make a claim for a refund yourself, HMRC will send it to the company who will take their cut.

    http://www.pistonheads.com/GASSING/topic.asp?h=0&t=627461&nmt=The
    Who having known the diamond will concern himself with glass?

    Rudyard Kipling


  • AstroBoy72
    We have already contacted HMRC and told them to never give out anything to this company again.

    If the cheque does not clear is there anything we can do?
  • AstroBoy72
    Write up about them on lovemoney;

    First up,The Entitlements Agency quite simply enables taxpayers to print off and complete a claim form to get the ball rolling which they will forward onto HMRC. In return, you’ll be charged a painful flat fee of 17% (+ VAT) of any rebate they manage to claim back on your behalf. If your rebate was say 300, The Entitlements Agency would keep 51 plus 8.93 in VAT, meaning you have lost a chunk of almost 60 from your rebate.

    Interestingly, when I typed ‘Inland Revenue’ - the precursor to HMRC - into Google, I was surprised to see The Entitlements Agency advert appears at the top of the page. The url for the site is actually inland-revenue.org.uk.

    If you ask me this makes the site appear officially HMRC sanctioned even though it’s completely independent from any government agency.
  • PlutoinCapricorn
    My guess is that the cheque will clear. If not, perhaps you need to go to the Small Claims Court.
    Who having known the diamond will concern himself with glass?

    Rudyard Kipling


  • AstroBoy72
    they have a facebook fanpage with some happy customers
    facebook.com/pages/The-Entitlements-Agency/277935098918033
  • AstroBoy72
    More good reviews From the BBC
    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7785813.stm
    Last edited by AstroBoy72; 16-07-2012 at 3:51 PM.
  • RobertoMoir
    Thanks for that helpful post Do you work for these people?
    Originally posted by AstroBoy72
    It's hardly someone else's fault that you didn't read the website carefully. Did you not click their "about us" link? Yes the company are pretty unethical, but what else can anyone here say that will make you happy? It's happened. You need to make sure that the Inland Revenue know they are no longer your agents, make sure you learn to read websites like that carefully and understand your options for things like this so it won't happen again then you need to move on.
    Last edited by RobertoMoir; 16-07-2012 at 4:00 PM.
    Former Bailiff.
    I'm here to help but I reserve the right to be blunt and to the point rather than sugar-coat my replies.


    The problem with consolidation loans is the absurd idea that "more credit" is the answer to too much credit.
  • AstroBoy72
    It's hardly someone else's fault that you didn't read the website carefully. Did you not click their "about us" link? Yes the company are pretty unethical, but what else can anyone here say that will make you happy? It's happened. You need to make sure that the Inland Revenue know they are no longer your agents, make sure you learn to read websites like that carefully and understand your options for things like this so it won't happen again then you need to move on.
    Originally posted by RobertoMoir
    I was not blaming anyone apart from myself, in my first post;
    "Like !!!!!!! idiots we thought taxrebate.co.uk was the official site to get the tax refunds"

    I will no longer add anything to this thread as I have done everything I can at this time to warn others.

    I'm usually very careful when it comes to researching stuff but, was going through some difficult times and didn't do my due diligence.

    Completely my fault, it's a fact that this world is cruel and if you trust too much you may become a victim.
  • PlutoinCapricorn
    You could let everyone know if the cheque clears ok.
    Who having known the diamond will concern himself with glass?

    Rudyard Kipling


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