Leaving UK Tax Back Guide

If you’re moving away from the UK, or you have relocated in the last four tax years, you are probably due a leaving the UK tax refund.

You can use our Free UK tax back calculator to work out how much your UK tax refund could be.

Find out what applies to you and how to navigate HMRC’s system with our leaving the UK tax back guide.

Who is allowed to claim UK tax back?

Anyone who has been employed under PAYE and left the UK in the last four tax years is allowed to apply for a UK tax rebate. To be eligible you must have earned enough to pay income tax in the year of your refund claim.

It’s important to remember that HMRC wants to refund your money but you need to apply for it to get it back.

Why would I be due a leaving the UK tax refund?

There are several reasons why you may be able to recoup some tax. These include:

Our free income tax guides can help you understand more about what tax relief is available.

Leaving the UK tax refund timescales

This is important because the rules are strict and if you don’t claim back what you are owed before the deadline you will lose any money you are owed.

You have four tax years to claim back a UK tax refund from the tax year in which you leave.

The tax office needs you to submit an official claim within the four year timescale before they can refund your overpaid income tax.

Leaving the UK tax back if you complete a self assessment tax return

A self assessment tax return may be requested by HMRC for lot’s of different reasons. If you have to complete a self assessment tax return in the UK you will need to complete your final tax return in the UK to allow for any overpayment of tax to be refunded.

The form P85 should not be needed if you complete a tax return with your tax return providing HMRC everything they need to refund any overpaid income tax.

A tax return can only be submitted after the current tax year ends which is on the 5th April each year. This means that if you leave the UK during a current tax year you will need to wait until after the 5th April to submit your tax return to HMRC.

How much UK tax back can I claim?

There’s no upper limit. The amount of UK tax you can claim back depends on a number of factors, like how much tax you paid in the UK, and if you had other sources of income. For these reasons how much you can reclaim is specific to your own set of circumstances in the UK.

It is common for people who are leaving the UK to only be due a repayment of income tax from the tax year in which they leave. In these circumstances you should be entitled to the difference between the tax you did pay in that tax year and the figure you would have paid if you worked for the full year.

How to claim my leaving the UK tax back P85

There are a couple of crucial forms you need to support a UK tax back claim:

P85 contains the date you left the UK, your UK residency status and your employment situation abroad. The P85 can be completed and submitted online or posted to the tax office.

You don’t need a P85 if you fill in a UK tax return. If you are required to complete a UK self assessment tax return a P85 should not normally be requested.

Your P45 will be given to you from your last UK employer when you leave their employment. If you do not have your P45 a claim is still possible however it might take HMRC longer to complete.

Your national insurance number is shown on your payslips and other tax forms like a P45 and is specific to you. A claim is possible without a national insurance number as long as certain other information is available.

Whether your departure date is imminent, or you resettled years ago, the claims process can be difficult especially when you add time differences into the mix.

A P85 claim can normally done online which is usually the quickest and easiest way or by post if necessary.

Leaving the UK tax refund and your P87

A form P87 is relevant if you have to claim tax back for employment expenses. The P87 has to be completed separately to the P85 and sent either online or by post directly to HMRC.

It will go through a different process to your form P85 and can take a different timescale to complete depending on the nature of the expenses included in your claim.

The tax office will check your P87 and ask any questions (usually in writing) if they need to before calculating any overpayment of income tax for employment expenses.

How will I be paid my UK tax refund?

The tax office will calculate any overpaid tax and produce a P800 form which explains in detail how they have calculated your refund. The P800 is posted to the address they have on record and a breakdown should show in your personal tax account if you have one.

The P85 allows for you to enter your preference in how you would like to be paid. You can choose to receive a bank transfer to a UK bank account or receive a cheque.

In cases where you don’t have a personal UK bank account you can nominate someone else to receive your tax refund on your behalf.

UK Tax Back Calculator

It doesn’t matter where you're from - we’ve helped people from Australia to Zambia to get back the UK tax they are owed.

Use the calculator to work out how much tax you can reclaim.

Tax Rebate Calculator
How much could I claim? »

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