I find the voice of Moira Stuart (and the thought of her hiding in the cupboard under the stairs!) quite terrifying, so much so that I make very sure to file my tax return as soon as I have all the information ready! So I was quite taken aback to find in the post, on Christmas Eve of all days, a very incorrect tax demand! So incorrect was this tax bill that it would have obliterated all my self-employed earnings for the previous tax year.
Luckily for me the bill was incorrect (due unfortunately to my losing interest at a vital part and filling in the form wrongly!) so thankfully I didn’t have to find a big amount of cash unexpectedly. Clearly a big relief!
But this got me thinking about where I could get some cash from if I needed it quickly. The back of the sofa and the washing machine are normally good hunting grounds but not for the kind of cash required by HMRC! Believe it or not though, if you search hard enough there is money that is rightly yours that you can claim back or liquefy if necessary. Here are a few ideas for where to find some easy money:
- Sell your shares: did you ‘Tell Sid’ back in the 1980s? Well if so dig out those old share certificates and check online to see what they’re worth. If that rainy day has come then now could be a great time to cash in with ANZ Online Trading
- Check out dormant bank accounts: have a good look through all your old bank statements. Is there any information relating to long held dormant bank accounts? There is a free website that allows you to track down lost accounts and access your money. You can also claim any winnings in old premium bonds using this free website. Plus you can even claim inherited money in dormant accounts as long as there is an uncontested will.
- Pensions and trusts: do you have a pension scheme from a previous employer that you have overlooked? Or any long forgotten money in unit or investment trusts? Find the details and get in touch – there maybe money available to you. Again if you have inherited any pensions or trusts, if the will is uncontested you may be able to claim.
- Tax refund: have you inadvertently paid too much tax? Check the HMRC’s website for lots of easy to understand information about claiming a rebate.
- Gift vouchers/refund cards: not cash as such but could save you a few pennies. Search your wallet and handbag for any unused gift cards or refund vouchers. They’re easy to forget about but could add up to a lot. Also check your loyalty cards for big balances that could be used as money off your weekly shop.
Your money is hard earned, don’t overlook cash that is rightfully yours – it could just help you out of a tight spot.