Tax rebates Tax rebates - can I get one?

tax form

You can reclaim tax you've overpaid, through self-assessment or PAYE.  

Getting a tax rebate can be straightforward, provided you are able show you've paid too much. The key to this is understanding what tax you should have paid - and how any overpayment came about. 

If you your tax is collected via PAYE, this is mainly a question of checking your tax code and personal allowance.

If you make a self-assessment tax return each year, a mistake on the form can lead to too much tax being deduced. 

PAYE tax rebates       

If you are an employee or receive private pension income, you will pay tax via Pay As You Earn (PAYE). 

The amount of tax that is deducted is determined by your tax code. This shows how much tax-free personal allowance you are entitled to receive each year.

Although most people get the full personal allowance (£11,000 in 2016-17, £10,600 in 2015-16), some have deductions made, for taxable benefits from their employer for example, or if they receive state pension to make up for the fact that this is paid gross (with no tax deducted). 

Problems with your tax code are the most common cause of overpayments via PAYE. If you think that more tax has been deducted than should have been the case, you have four years to make a claim (for the tax year 2012/13, which ended on 5 April 2013, you have to make a claim by 5 April 2017. 

Subsequent reclaim deadlines are as follows:

  • Tax year 2013/14: by 5 April 2018
  • Tax year 2014/15: by 5 April 2019
  • Tax year 2015/16: by 5 April 2020

Go further: PAYE tax codes - find out more about your tax code and why problems with it occur.

Self-assessment tax rebates   

If you make a self-assessment tax return (because you are self-employed, for example) an error on your form may have caused too much tax to be collected. 

If it is a recent return (less than a year old) you can amend it and receive a refund from HMRC. If deadline has passed, you can still write to HMRC and tell them what was wrong. 

Go further: Tax returns - find out more about filling in your self assessment tax return. 

Refunds on savings tax 

Until April 2016, interest payments on savings were normally taxed at the basic rate of 20%. They were paid net by the bank or building society - with tax deducted. Some savers were entitled to receive tax-free interest however. 

If your total income for 2015-16, including any interest on your savings, was less than your personal allowance (and the £5,000 savings band), you can claim a full tax refund.   

Go further: Tax on savings - learn more about how your taxed on savings accounts. 

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