Tax rebates Tax rebates - how to claim

refund calculation

Work out how much tax you think you have overpaid.

If you are due a tax rebate, because you have paid too much, in most cases you can simply request a repayment by HMRC. The exact process varies, depending on whether you pay tax via PAYE or through self-assessment. 

This guide explains how to go about getting a tax rebate and when your rebate might arrive.

Claiming a PAYE tax rebate 

Although your tax code should reflect your circumstances and tax-free personal allowance, there are occasions when this is not the case - and too much tax is deduced by HMRC. Common examples include:

  • starting a new job and receiving an emergency tax code
  • a mistake by your employer
  • working for only part of the year
  • having more than one job
  • being made redundant
  • switching to part-time work or becoming self-employed
  • receiving late payments after leaving employment

In all cases you should contact HMRC through the PAYE Helpline (0300 200 3300). If a refund is due for the current tax year this will normally be made through an adjustment in your pay. 

If you have paid too much tax in a previous year HMRC should send you a refund. There is a four year limit for claiming PAYE refunds, so you have to claim by 5 April 2017 for tax paid in the 2012-13 tax year.

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.

Claiming a Self-assessment tax rebate    

If your overpayment is due to an error on your most recent tax return, you can correct this online, through the HMRC website. Once the change has been made, HMRC will send you a refund.

If the overpayment is because of any error on an earlier return, you need to write to HMRC and explain why you think you've paid too much: 

  • The address to contact is: HM Revenue & Customs, Self Assessment, PO Box 4000, Cardiff, CF14 8HR. 
  • The telephone helpline is 0300 200 3310.

You can opt to offset any repayment due against next year's tax bill, or receive payment directly to your bank or building society account. Alternatively, you can ask HMRC to send you a cheque.

HMRC currently pays interest on refunded overpayments at the rate of 0.5%. 

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

Claiming a refund of tax paid on savings interest

If you have had tax deducted from your savings interest and want to claim this back- because you are a non-taxpayer for example, you can get refund by filling in a Tax Repayment R40 form (downloadable from the HMRC website). 

You can only go back four years- so the limit for tax deducted in the 2012-13 tax year is 5 April 2017. 

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