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How to Claim a Tax Refund Online

There are several reasons why you might need to claim a tax refund or rebate. This section explains how to get money back after paying too much Income Tax.

CLAIM TAX REFUND HMRC: There is a slight difference between a refund and a rebate (for tax claims).

As a rule, a rebate is more specific than a refund because it means you overpaid. Typical reasons to claim a tax rebate (refund) include:

A tax reclaim is like a refund but it generally means you used your own money. Thus, you can sometimes reclaim tax if you:

  • Paid for things associated with your job using your own money (e.g. vehicle fuel costs or work clothing).
  • Made payments on savings interest while getting a low income.
  • Live in one country but your income comes from another. The rules depend on whether you are a UK resident with foreign income or you are a non-resident with UK income.

Note: You can use the government website to ‘check how much Income Tax you paid last year‘. You can claim a tax refund online if the HMRC P800 refund calculation letter informs you to get it that way.

Claim Tax Back Employed

A typical reason for claiming a tax refund is when too much got taken from your pay. But, the way you claim it back will depend on which particular tax year you overpaid.

A typical reason for claiming a tax refund is when too much got taken from your pay. But, the way you claim it back will depend on which particular tax year you overpaid.

As a rule, HM Revenue and Customs do not send out notification of tax rebates by email. You should always report suspicious emails to HMRC so they can take further action.

Current Tax Year

During the most current tax year you can check your tax codes to see if it is an error. If there is, you may need to inform HM Revenue and Customs. If you are due a refund, you will get it in your pay packet from your employer if HMRC correct your tax code.

Previous Tax Year

You cannot claim a refund for previous tax years until your taxes get calculated (June to October). HMRC post a P800 tax calculation if they discover you paid too much taxation. The P800 informs you how to get refunded.

How to Claim Tax Refund Online

You can claim a tax refund online for some earlier years – but you need:

  • Your employer PAYE reference number (written on your P60).
  • What taxable income you received (including taxable benefits).

Note: You cannot use this method to claim a refund for the previous tax year or for someone else.

Other Methods of Claiming a Tax Refund

Call or write to HMRC if you think you overpaid. You are going to need:

What HM Revenue and Customs Do Next

Having claimed a tax refund you must then wait for HM Revenue and Customs to respond. HMRC will either:

  • Make contact with you to get further information.
  • Give you a refund either by ‘payable order’ (cheque) or directly into your bank account.
  • Send the refund to your nominee by cheque or by direct payment to their bank account. This only takes place if you nominated someone else to get the payment.
  • Inform you that no tax refund is due and the reason why they say so.

Note: You must have a United Kingdom bank account to get payments from HMRC. You can nominate someone else to receive the refund if you do not have a UK bank account.

Claiming a Tax Refund When You Stop Work

Tax Refund after Redundancy

What if you overpaid taxes because of your redundancy payment? You should phone HM Revenue and Customs without delay. In some cases they can issue a tax rebate after redundancy before the end of the tax year (6 April to 5 April).

If You Quit Your Job

A tax refund may get delayed if you are receiving certain welfare benefits, including:

You will need to give parts 2 and 3 of your P45 to Jobcentre Plus. Tax refunds for overpayments such as these usually occur at the end of the tax year or after starting a new job.

Note: Those who are out of work for less than 4 weeks will get any refund due through wages in the new job. Thus, you would be unable to make a claim for a tax refund.

Those who are not claiming certain benefits should fill in form P50. Follow the link to ‘Income Tax: claiming tax back when you have stopped working (P50)‘ on the GOV.UK website.

The process assumes you are not going to work for at least 4 weeks. A typical example would apply to a retired person who is searching for a job or considering a return to study.

If You Leave the United Kingdom to Live Abroad

There is special guidance on tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and how to fill in form P85. It applies to those who are leaving the UK to live abroad on a permanent basis. Follow the same guidelines if you work abroad full-time for at least one full UK tax year.

How Long to get a Tax Refund

The time it takes to receive your tax refund depends on how you get paid. The timescale will depend on whether you get a cheque, payment into a bank account, or to a credit or debit card. Receiving a P800 tax calculation will also change how long it takes to get a refund.

Tax Refund Payments by Cheque

As a rule, HM Revenue and Customs send payments by cheque (or payable order’) within 5 weeks. But, it can take longer in some cases.

Tax Refund Payments to a Credit or Debit Card

This type of refund payment usually takes five (5) working days to complete.

Tax Refund Payments into a Bank Account

Even though HMRC only pay refunds into UK bank accounts, it should transfer within 5 working days.

Note: Tax taken from pay or a pension (without a P800 tax calculation) can take much longer. You should allow up to twenty five (25) working days in these situations.

If You Do Not Receive Your Refund

You should wait a minimum period before contacting HMRC about the timescale of a payment. They suggest waiting five (5) weeks after making an online claim and six (6) weeks after making a postal claim.


If You Sent a Tax Return

Check how get a tax refund after sending a Self Assessment tax return. The process depends on whether you filed it online or you used a paper tax return.

Tax Refund after You get a Pension

The section explains the process of claiming tax back if you paid too much on your pension or annuity. It also has information covering taxation refunds on lifetime annuities.

How to Claim a Tax Back Online in United Kingdom