Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Focused Business Analyst - Finance and Procurement System Implementation

£350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reading are...

Note Taker - Scribe

£10 per hour: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced note taker...

DT Teacher - Resistant Materials

£4800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: A full time...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Page 3 Profile: Paul Retout, former chartered accountant

Tax doesn’t have to be taxing…

Perhaps not if you’ve got Paul Retout doing your accounts. The former chartered accountant, who was imprisoned for a £60,000 fraud, is now helping inmates to claim tax rebates of £1,000 on average.

How is that possible?

Mr Retout, from Denbighshire, Wales, was jailed in October 2012 for submitting false invoices to his own firm, Quadrangle Group, where he was employed as financial controller. He was sent to HMP Wandsworth in south London, where he began running ‘tax seminars’ for his fellow inmates. He claims that prisoners who were jailed before reaching the annual £9,440 personal tax threshold, but who paid tax on earnings before being incarcerated, are likely to be owed money.

Ker-ching!

In the first session, Mr Retout discovered that about half of the 20 attendees were due tax rebates. He soon realised that he soon realised that many more prisoners at the 1,284-capacity jail were owed rebates from the taxman. When he was transferred to he was to HMP Brixton, also in south London, he saw a similar situation.

And now it’s payback time?

Writing in Inside Time, the national monthly newspaper for prisoners, the 53-year-old, who was released in March, said:  “What became clear was that taxation was a topic that prisoners wanted further information on but there was very little support, if any to help them.”

Is Mr Retout the man for the job?

“Having spent my life helping high net worth people I had an epiphany in prison trying to help prisoners who needed guidance about tax codes and taxation,” he said. “If they got a tax rebate it could help them with accommodation, getting a job and buying food when they are released.” He added: “The average refund that I calculated while I was in prison was approximately £1,000.” It is thought that up to 200 prisoners have applied for tax rebates thanks to his advice.

What next for the money-saving expert?

Mr Retout said that he was now trying to help ex-offenders manage their tax affairs. “When you come out of prison it is pretty daunting and difficult, particularly if you have no money behind you. We should be helping these people reintegrate into society. They should be provided with some tax education.”

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker