How to Correct a Tax Return and Claim a Refund
It is likely that you will make a genuine error when filling in your Tax Return – forgotten to add an income or an expense and therefore paid too much or too little tax.
Tax Rebate Services has helped countless Self Assessment tax payers amend their returns, claiming back expenses they didn’t enter when originally filling it in themselves.
It can be a simple process to amend your tax return, though you will have a time limit in which you can make these amendments, and importantly you need to know what you are amending is correct. If HMRC authorises the amendment, they will pay you back the extra or inform you how much more you will need to pay.
Claiming a tax refund
If you have made a mistake and appear to have overpaid, you will need to correct the tax return within the given time limit. The tax refund can be claimed at the same time.
If you are not required to fill out the Self Assessment form and wish to claim back tax, there are different forms depending on what you intend to claim tax back against.
Correcting your return
The deadline for making an amendment to your tax return is very generous – you have 12 months from the January 31st after the end of the previous tax year to make your corrections. This means that for the tax year 2012-2013, the deadline for payment is 31st January 2014, and the deadline for amendments is 31st January 2015.
You may be entitled to an extension on this date if you received your return later than expected (after 31st July). If this happens then the accompanying letter will give you the deadline for the return; consequently you will have 12 months from this date to file your amendment. So if your tax return for 2012-3 arrived on 1st December 2013, you will have until 1st March 2014 to return it. Consequently, you will have until 1st March 2015 to make any amendments.
If HMRC calculates that you owe more and consequently have to pay a penalty, they will tell you how much you’ll need to pay and how to go about paying it. Those who are due a refund will be given the option on how they will have it refunded.
How to amend an online tax return:
Many choose to fill out their tax returns online and if you complete yours by the 31st January, an online amendment is straightforward. Just follow the option to amend your tax return from the “At a Glance” page.
How to amend a paper tax return:
You will not need to send a whole new tax return. Instead, write to HMRC with the individual amended page(s). Ensure that the word “AMENDMENT” appears at the top of each page.
What if it’s too late to amend your return?
Sometimes mistakes do not become apparent until much later. It is advisable to write to HMRC as soon as possible – you will have four years from the end of the tax year to bring it to their attention.
For example, if you discover that you paid too much tax in the year 2009-10 (which ended on 5th April 2010) then you will have until 5th April 2014 to claim a refund. After this date, you will miss out and nothing can be done. A repayment claim for this four year period should include:
- Details of which tax year you are claiming for
- An explanation for why you feel you overpaid in that year
- Evidence of the tax that you did pay in that year
- Your signature
- Details on how you would prefer to receive any due refund
If the mistake means that you owe tax to HMRC, they will include details on how much you need to pay and how you can pay.
How will any refund be made?
There are a couple of options you might consider. Many prefer to have it deducted from tax due on the current Self-Assessment form. Alternatively HMRC offers the following options:
- Direct debit into your bank account
- Through the post – this will take a little longer than a direct debit
- To a nominee – you will need to include details of their account
HMRC aims to settle any claims quickly and most will be satisfactorily completed within fourteen days. Some cases will take slightly longer for fraud protection purposes. Online requests take up to four weeks and postal requests anything up to six weeks.
Interest is payable on both late payments and late refunds.
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