Am I due an HMRC Tax Rebate?

HMRC is the government department that looks after the UK tax system and is responsible for refunding tax to both employed and self employed taxpayers.

If you have paid more tax on your personal income than necessary or qualify for specific tax allowances or reliefs you could be eligible to claim an HMRC tax rebate.

It’s important to know that HMRC cannot always repay a tax rebate automatically and that the tax system like all organisations can make errors.

Taxpayers have access to various tax reliefs and tax free allowances based on their employment status and personal situations.

In many cases the tax system puts the responsibility of reclaiming an HMRC tax refund on the individual so finding out what is available to you is vital.

You can use our guide as an HMRC tax rebate checker to find out if you are due a tax rebate and how to reduce your tax bill by reclaiming what you are owed.

HMRC tax rebates explained

In simple terms a tax rebate is due when an individual taxpayer has paid too much tax during the course of a financial year, and is eligible to claim some back.

Employed people can reclaim tax through PAYE or through the self assessment system if they complete a tax return.

HMRC can potentially owe you a tax refund on any type of taxable income with the value of any repayment based on your whole tax position.

It is important for you to find out if you have overpaid, because in some circumstances you could miss out on your tax rebate entitlement.

How do I know if I am due a tax rebate?

A tax rebate can be claimed for a four year period so it is best to think about not just this financial year, but the four previous tax years too.

If you are employed, there are many ways in which you might qualify for a tax rebate. One of the main reasons is having expenses related to your job.

At Tax Rebate Services we find there is rarely, if ever a “one size fits all” scenario but we typically find that employed taxpayers asking “Am I Due A Tax Rebate?” fall into one or more of the categories below:

  • Travel – Travelling as part of your job.
  • Uniform – Washing and maintaining uniform or safety clothing.
  • Tools and protective clothing – Items that you must pay for as part of your job.
  • Professional fees – When membership of a professional organisation or Trade Union is paid.
  • Leaving the UK –  If you have already emigrated, or are leaving, during a tax year, it is likely you can reclaim tax.
  • Pension tax relief – For those who contribute to a private pension and are higher rate tax payers.
  • Working from home – Household expenses like gas and electricity that you use because you have to work from home.

This list doesn’t include everything like having an incorrect tax code but gives you a good idea of what can be done if you are employed under PAYE.

HMRC tax rebates and your tax code

HMRC gives your employer or other income source a tax code to use which tells them how much income tax to deduct from your earnings.

The tax coding system isn’t perfect which can result in the wrong tax code being used and you not paying enough or too much income tax.

Found on payslips or online via the HMRC app or personal tax account your tax code should be checked regularly especially if there is a change in your tax related circumstances.

HMRC expects you to let them know about changes which could effect your tax code and let’s you give them your up to date information online.

Other reasons for being due a tax rebate from HMRC

With so many different circumstances resulting in someone paying too much tax the list is long.

Here are some more common reasons for you to consider:

  • Changing jobs or having more than one job at the same time.
  • Being made redundant.
  • Receiving a lump sum pension payment.
  • Paying UK tax as a non resident.
  • Leaving the UK part way through a tax year.

HMRC tax reclaim timescales

There’s usually a four tax year limit before it’s too late to claim overpaid income tax back from HMRC.

This applies to tax paying workers who are employed and self employed.

A tax year is different to the normal calendar year and runs from the 6th April one year to the 5th April the following.

How do I make my HMRC tax reclaim?

The way in which you claim your tax rebate depends on the type of tax you are claiming back and the corresponding HMRC department.

  • HMRC tax reclaim for expenses: If you need to reclaim work related expenses a P87 form or a self assessment tax return will need to be submitted. The P87 and self assessment tax return forms can be completed and submitted online or printed and posted to HMRC.
  • HMRC tax reclaim if you have stopped work: In cases where you have stopped work due to redundancy for example you can sometimes use form P50 which allows you to reclaim a tax rebate in the current tax year.
  • HMRC tax reclaim on pension lump sums: Overpaid tax on pension lump sum payments can be reclaimed in the tax year you have paid too much tax by using a form P53Z, P50Z, P55 or P53 (whichever is appropriate to your set of circumstances).

Sometimes you can be due a tax rebate and HMRC refunds your overpayment automatically in which case they will send you a P800 form so you can reclaim your overpaid tax online or you can wait and get a cheque through the post.

How long will it take for my HMRC tax refund to be paid?

After a successful tax rebate claim you will receive a P800 letter from HMRC which confirms the refund due and how HMRC can repay you.

You are usually given the option to login to your personal tax account or the HMRC app and request that the refund be transferred directly to your bank account.

This process takes around five working days and it’s always worth double checking your bank details are entered correctly.

It is recommended to take this action promptly after receiving a P800 letter because if you don’t request the bank transfer within 21 days HMRC will usually issue a cheque instead.

Receiving a cheque can significantly delay the process, potentially taking up to six weeks from the date on your P800 letter.

In certain situations, HMRC may only offer a cheque without the option of a direct online payment.

What HMRC tax rebates are automatically repaid?

HMRC can issue a tax refund automatically without the need for you making a claim.

Automatic tax refunds are often repaid when you have only used some of your annual tax-free personal allowance through PAYE even though you are eligible for the entire year’s allowance.

In this situation HMRC’s automatic reconciliation system will combine your pay and tax information at the end of the tax year.

This review encompasses income from PAYE sources such as the earnings detailed on your end-of-year P60 certificate.

The automatic refund of tax will be made directly to you along with a P800 calculation letter for you to check.

You can also receive an automatic tax repayment during the tax year through your salary from your employer or payment from your pension provider.

Good to know if you are due a tax rebate

  • It doesn’t matter what your job title is if you’ve paid tax you are eligible.
  • Reclaiming a rebate on tax paid is perfectly legitimate. It is not the same as tax avoidance and doesn’t exploit any loopholes.
  • If you’re eligible it’s expected that you will claim but, if you don’t, you won’t get back the money that you are entitled to.
  • Don’t get caught out by tax rebate scams. Fraudulent emails and texts claiming to be from HMRC are common so please be aware and be diligent.

How do I contact HMRC if I need more help?

HMRC can be contacted online or by phone. They offer online and phone support for most enquiries.

You can also receive updates relating to your tax position in your online personal tax account or HMRC app.

Tax free personal allowances

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