Millions owed refunds from the Office of the Public Guardian
Millions of people who registered their Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 may be due a refund of up to £54 for each LPA or EPA they registered.
Whilst the Office of the Public Guardian’s (OPG) operating costs reduced from 1 April 2013, the saving was not passed on to those registering the documents. The Ministry of Justice, which sets the OPG’s fees, reduced the application fee with effect from 1 April 2017 to £82 and subsequently launched a refund scheme for those who were charged more than necessary in the qualifying period.
Approximately 1.7million applications could be affected and claiming the refund is quick and easy and will not require the assistance of a solicitor.
Who can make the claim?
A claim for a refund can be made by the Donor (the person who made the LPA) or one of the attorneys (the person appointed by the Donor) – although the refund will be paid directly to the Donor’s bank account.
If the Donor has died, a claim can still be made.
Even if the EPA or LPA has not been used, a claim can still be made and there is currently no deadline.
How to claim?
A claim can be made online or by phone to the OPG’s helpline on 0300 456 0300 and select option 6 to access the refund team. Lines are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 5pm and Wednesday from 10am to 5pm.
Whilst you do not need to the EPA or LPA to make the claim, you will require:
The Donor’s name, address and date of birth
Their UK bank account number and sort code
The name of one of the attorney included on either the LPA or EPA
Only one claim need be made irrespective of how many powers of attorney were registered for a Donor during the qualifying period.
How much can you claim?
The refund process may take up to 12 weeks to be processed and paid and the amount refunded will depend on when the registration took place and what fee was paid.
|When you paid the fee
|Refund for each power of attorney registered
|April to September 2013
|October 2013 to March 2014
|April 2014 to March 2015
|April 2015 to March 2016
|April 2016 to March 2017
(Take from the government website)
Those who claimed a full exemption and did not pay a fee, will not be eligible for a refund.
Those who claimed a remission, reducing the fee to half, should be entitled to half the refund and so should still make a claim.
The refund figures above include 0.5% annual interest, which is HMRC’s standard tax repayment rate.
For further advice please contact Laura Smith on 01905 730423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org