HMRC - Refunds

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If you’ve paid too much tax to HMRC, you may be able to claim a refund (otherwise known as a tax rebate).

If you are employed and believe your employer has taken too much tax from your salary, you should check to see that you have been assigned the correct tax code. HMRC will be able to correct any mistakes in your tax code.

To claim a refund, you’ll need your National Insurance number, details of any jobs you’ve had or benefits you’ve claimed.

If you’ve overpaid tax as a result of a redundancy payment, you should be aware that you can’t get a tax refund straight away if you’re receiving some types of benefit, including jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, carer’s allowance and incapacity benefit.

If you’re out of work for less than four weeks and you’re due a refund, you’ll get one through your wages from your new job. You can’t claim a refund.

If you’ve overpaid tax on your pension, your pension provider might pay you back automatically. If they don’t, HMRC can help you get the excess payment back.

Refunds are normally paid by cheque (which may take 5 weeks or more), to your credit or debit card (which takes 5 working days), or directly into your bank account (which takes 5 working days, unless you’re claiming for tax taken from your pay or pension and you haven’t got a P800 tax calculation, in which case it can take up to 25 working days). 

If you’re expecting a refund, HMRC advise that you should wait 5 weeks after making an online claim and 6 weeks after making a postal claim to chase them up on it. 

If these timeframes pass and you haven’t received your refund, you should use Resolver to contact HMRC.

You should know
  • You should always try and resolve any problems with HMRC by talking with the person who has been dealing with you first.
  • If this is impossible or has not resolved your issue, you should use Resolver to contact them.
  • HMRC operates a tiered complaints system. Complaints will go through two tiers of service.
  • If you are still unhappy, you can ask your MP to escalate your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman.

If you believe HMRC has not correctly followed procedure, it's always worthwhile to consider contacting them via Resolver. HMRC may offer compensation for any distress, delay, damage caused, or costs incurred by HMRC (such as the cost of having to hire an accountant).

It's worth knowing that HMRC have the right to take enforcement action to reclaim any debts (under certain conditions).

You should be aware, however, that HMRC field agents have no right of seizure. They might take note of the things you have (your assets), but they can't take any on the spot.

HMRC can level penalties for late payment. It's always worth contacting HMRC if you believe you might have been incorrectly penalised (or if serious circumstances stopped you from paying on time). HMRC will often consider any reasons you might have for late payment.

You should try and correct any mistakes with your tax as soon as possible.

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