Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert: You are probably owed money - here’s how to claim it
- Credit: Archant
Stuck for something to do this bank holiday weekend? Then reclaim hundreds of pounds you may be owed, says MoneySavingExpert's Martin Lewis.
Refund, refund, refund, refund, refund.
No, I'm not stuck on repeat. I'm trying to hammer home that people are owed hundreds of millions of pounds that they're just not claiming – most of which can be done with just a quick click or phone call.
Here's what you need to do.
• Over a million people are owed a refund on power of attorney registration fees
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A lasting power of attorney is a legal document which allows you, while you still have the mental capacity to do so, to nominate a trusted friend or relative to look after your affairs if you lose capacity.
And they're not just for the elderly: I have one and I'm 45. For more on how to do it cheaply go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/POA.
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Yet if you've already got one, and did it between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2017 in England and Wales, you will have paid £110.
That's more than it should have been, so if you did that you're owed up to £54 per power of attorney (which includes 0.5% interest).
To claim a refund, go to www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund or call the Office of the Public Guardians on 0300 456 0300 and select option six.
You'll need details (including bank details) of the person who it was set up for and the name of one of the attorneys. I'm swamped with people telling me how easy it is.
• Are you married? If so, you may be due a free £900
Three years ago, the government launched the marriage (and civil partnerships) tax allowance. It applies where one is a basic-rate taxpayer and the other a non-taxpayer.
The non-taxpayer can apply to have 10% (£1,190) of their tax-free allowance shifted to the taxpayer.
This means £1,190 of income they were taxed on at 20% is now tax-free – a £238 gain this year done via altering your tax code.
Yet still more than a million eligible couples are missing out. And you can back-claim a refund to when it started too, so that's a cheque for £662 – making a total of £900.
It takes five minutes to do at www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance/how-to-apply (it's the non-taxpayer who must apply).
• Reclaim overpaid energy
With winter long gone this is the perfect time for those who pay energy by monthly direct debit (which is the vast majority) to check if you've got too much credit.
This is because energy firms estimate your usage, and then bill you based on their estimates. If those are set too high you can end up overpaying.
Only do this if you've been providing regular meter readings, or have a smart meter doing it for you. If not, send them a meter reading.
Assuming all is up-to-date, go online or call up to check whether you are in credit and, if so, by how much.
Direct debits are meant to smooth out your usage over the year so normally you're in surplus going into winter and in deficit after.
So right now if your credit is more than a month's worth of bills, ask them for the amount over that back – it can be hundreds of pounds, and ask them to lower the direct debit going forward.
If you've switched providers you should have been credited with any excess at the time. However, they didn't always do so in the past, so check now even if it was years ago.
• Graduated university? You may be due £100s back
In the last three years alone, over 100,000 university leavers started to repay their loans too early, and are due some of it back.
Plus, as this could go all the way back to 1998, it's likely there are hundreds of thousands more.
You are only eligible to start repaying your student loan in the April after graduation – often around nine months after leaving, and even then only if you earn over a set threshold.
However, if your employer has the wrong info about your uni leaving date, or simply does it wrong, you may start repaying early.
To check and get it back is easy. Just call the Student Loan Company on 0300 100 0611 and ask it.
It takes five minutes and I've had tons of successes.
And that's only one category of student loan overpayment – there are other reasons. To check, see my full www.mse.me/studentloanoverpayments guide.
• Martin Lewis is the founder and chair of MoneySavingExpert.com.