Claiming a tax refund from HMRC

As of April 1st, it’s a new tax year and you’ll be hearing from HMRC. This means most of us will be getting our tax laters through the door, telling us how much tax we’ll be paying over the new tax year. 

Often you’ll find you may have paid a bit more tax than you realised and you’ll want to claim a tax rebate. But how do you make a claim?

Who are HMRC?

HMRC, otherwise known as Her Majesties Revenue and Customs are your first port of call for anything tax related. Through their online portal, you can access both business and personal tax accounts. You can also submit online tax returns, pay corporation tax, and seek advice on issues such as PAYE for employers and VAT. If you’re looking to claim a tax refund, you claim it through HMRC. 

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How is tax calculated?

Tax is calculated depending on your income. So the more you earn, the more tax that you’ll pay. If you’re employed or receive a pension, your employer or pension provider uses your tax code to work out how much tax you’ll pay.

You could possibly still be paying too much or not enough tax. For example, if you get a pay rise or company benefit that HMRC weren’t aware of because they hadn’t updated your tax code. If you feel you’ve not paid the right amount of tax at the end of the tax year, HMRC will send you a P800 (simple assessment tax calculation). Your P800 will then tell you how to get a refund or pay the additional tax you owe.

There are a few reasons you may get a P800 form and they are as follows:

  • finished one job, started a new one and were paid by both in the same month
  • started receiving a pension at work
  • received Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance

P800 forms are usually sent out on or around April 4th. You may be able to use the HMRC Tax Checker to see how much you owe. 

What is a tax refund?

A tax refund, otherwise known as a tax rebate occurs when you pay more tax than you should have in a tax year (April 1st – March 31st). For example, you may have been charged more tax than you should have from your paycheck. You’ll receive this back as a tax refund. 

Why could you claim a tax refund?

There are a number of reasons you could claim a tax refund. HMRC has outlined the different things you may have been charged too much tax for and you can see them below:

  • pay from your current or previous job
  • pension payments
  • income from a life or pension annuity
  • a redundancy payment
  • a Self Assessment tax return
  • interest from savings or PPI
  • foreign income
  • UK income if you live abroad
  • fuel costs or work clothing for your job

The refunded fee may not be high but regardless it’s definitely worth contacting the HMRC customer services to claim it. 

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How do I claim a tax refund?

To claim a tax refund you either need to start an online form or call the HMRC contact number and speak directly to one of their team. Using the online form, you need to fill out your details and then HMRC will get back to you as soon as possible. Around this time, there are a high number of refund forms filed so you may need to be patient in waiting for a reply. 

If you’ve been waiting longer than expected then it may be worth giving them a call to chase your refund. They have a dedicated customer services team who will be happy to help.