How far back can I claim a tax rebate?

If you’re employed and making a tax rebate claim under PAYE, you can claim back overpaid tax for the last four tax years. This used to be six tax years, but was changed HMRC to just four years.

For example if the current tax year is the 2019/2020 you can claim back to the 2015/2016 tax year only. In this example after the 2019/2020 tax year ends on the 5th April 2020 it will not be possible to claim for the 2015/2016 tax year.

It’s really important to know how far you can backdate your claim, for two reasons:

  1. Knowing the exact number of preceding years you can include on your claim will ensure you don’t miss out on any money you are owed.
  2. If you mistakenly claim for years outside of the prescribed limit, your entire claim will be denied and you’ll forfeit the tax rebate you are actually due.

Tip – If you’ve completed a Self Assessment tax return in previous years, you can normally still amend the tax return within the last four tax years.

So, if you think you’re due a tax rebate that wasn’t dealt with when your tax return was initially submitted, you can still claim it back by making an overpayment relief claim under self assessment.

An overpayment relief claim is only possible for the full four tax years in some circumstances with different regulations in place for claims related to capital allowances for tools.


Tax free personal allowances

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