Tax returns are usually submitted every calendar year. However, there are instances where you might want to submit a tax return earlier. For example, if you have paid off some debts, you could claim back any outstanding tax owed.
If you pay too much tax and think you owe less than £10,000, you can ask HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to repay it. This is known as a repayment request.
You will receive an acknowledgment letter from HMRC within ten working days after submitting your request.
There is a limit on how many times you can make a repayment request. Once you have repaid the amount due, you cannot make another repayment request.
If you want to claim back money paid to HMRC via PAYE, National Insurance contributions (NIC), Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) etc., then you must do so within 3 months of paying the money. This applies even if you don’t know about the error until later. You can use the form P11D to make a claim back.
However, there are exceptions depending upon what type of income you receive. If you earn less than £10,000 per annum, you won’t be able to claim back anything unless you have been negligent. In addition, you cannot claim back NICs, Income Tax, Capital Gases Tax (CGT), Corporation Tax (CT) or VAT.
How can I tell whether I’ve paid too much tax?
To work out accurately whether you are paying too much tax, you will need to know your tax liabilities and compare these to how many times you pay tax. You should keep a record, including receipts, of your income and any expenses deducted against it. If you don’t keep records, make sure you ask HMRC for copies of your returns.
You should look into the different sources of income and calculate what proportion of your earnings come from them. For example, if you receive £1,500 per month, one third of this (£500) might be taxable. This could mean that you have to pay tax on £100 rather than just £50.
If you’re unsure about anything, contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). They’ll be able to help you sort things out.
How do I calculate my tax liability?
The government wants us to pay our taxes. But it doesn’t want us to know exactly what we’re paying. So it keeps lots of information secret. This makes it hard to find out how much tax you’ll have to pay. And it’s easy to make mistakes. In fact, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), nearly half of people don’t file their return correctly.
So how do you work out your tax liability? Here are some tips:
1. Work out your gross salary
Your gross salary is everything you earn – including salaries, wages, bonuses, overtime payments, commission, tips, benefits, and anything else you receive. If you’re self-employed, you include profits from your business too.
2. Calculate your net earnings
Net earnings are the same as gross earnings minus expenses such as mortgage repayments, food bills, travel costs, clothing, fuel, utilities, repairs, insurance premiums, subscriptions, and any other things you spend money on.
3. Add up all your deductions
What are the deadlines for claiming back taxes?
The deadline to submit claims is usually about six weeks after the end of the tax year. However, some deadlines fall within the fourth quarter. For example, the deadline to file a claim for the third quarter falls on December 31st.
If you’re filing a late claim, you might want to consider doing so before the deadline. You could still get a refund if you do so. But, if you don’t, you won’t be able to make up for lost time.
What can I do if it is too late to file a repayment claim?
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recently announced changes to how it handles tax repayments. These changes are intended to help people who have been overpaid tax during previous tax years. If you are one of those people, you might be able to reclaim some of the money you have already paid. However, HMRC says there are certain conditions that could prevent you from being eligible for a refund.
The main change involves the introduction of a three-year window where HMRC can ask you to repay the amount you owe. You will only be allowed to apply for a repayment once this period has passed.
If you receive a notice from HMRC asking you to repay the money you owe, you will need to prove that you cannot afford to pay the money back. HMRC will consider whether you have enough income to cover the repayment and whether you have sufficient assets to cover the debt.
You will also need to show that you did not know about the mistake at the time you filed your return. If you were unaware of the mistake, you will not be able to request a repayment. HMRC will take into account any mitigating circumstances such as illness or financial hardship.
If you meet the criteria, you will be given a date by which you must repay the money owed. HMRC will send you a letter confirming the repayment amount and giving you information about how much interest will be added to the total amount due.
How long will it take to receive a refund?
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will process applications up to seven working days after you submit the form. This includes cases where the taxpayer files online or via post. If you file a paper return, we aim to issue a decision within 14 days.
If you think you might owe tax, contact us immediately. We cannot offer advice over the phone, but our helpline number is 0300 123 5000.
We recommend you keep copies of receipts and invoices relating to payments received during the relevant tax period. These could help prove whether you paid tax correctly.
You must provide evidence of payment, such as bank statements, to support your claim.
If you pay electronically, you can use the same method to request a refund. However, we do not accept electronic returns unless you are claiming a refund because you did not pay enough tax.
The deadline for filing a tax return is 31 January each year.
For further information about how to make a claim, see our guide here.
Tax refund scams
Scam artists are targeting UK taxpayers again this tax season – and they’re doing it via text messaging. A recent survey found that one in five British adults had received a text message claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). These messages ask recipients for personal information such as bank account numbers and passwords. They also claim to offer help with refunds. But they are actually part of a scam designed to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
The National Crime Agency says that criminals use automated systems to send out thousands of texts every day. This makes it very difficult for law enforcement agencies to track down those responsible.
Don’t fall victim to this type of fraud. If you receive a text message requesting sensitive information like banking details or PIN codes, don’t reply. Instead forward the message to the following number: 0800 123 2039. If you think you’ve already fallen victim to a tax refund scam, contact your local branch of HMRC immediately. They’ll be able to advise you how to protect yourself against future attacks.
HMRC wishes to verify my identity before releasing a refund.
HMRC regularly checks that Self Assessments tax refunds are genuine. If HMRC think your self assessment tax refund claim might be false, they will ask you for proof of identity. They will usually send you a letter asking for additional information such as your full name, home address, date of birth and National Insurance number. You must provide this information within 28 days of receiving the letter. Failure to do so could lead to a fine of up to £1000 per day.
If you fail to respond to the request, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will assume that you are guilty of fraud and proceed accordingly. This includes taking action against you via the courts or contacting the police.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you claiming Universal Credit?
If you’re taking out Universal Credit, it could mean a big tax refund. But there’s a catch.
You won’t actually owe any money to HMRC – because Universal Credit isn’t a taxable benefit.
So if you’ve got a large amount of Universal Credit outstanding, you might think you could claim some tax back.
But what about if you’ve already taken out Universal Credit? Or if you’re starting a new job while you’re still receiving payments?
Who can get this £150 rebate?
The government stated yesterday that the majority of households in council tax categories A to D will now be eligible for this rebate. This applies to those living in single family homes and flats where the total value of the property does not exceed £250,000. There are no restrictions on how many people live in the house.
Read the full eligibility criteria here. If you don’t know which category your property falls into, you can find out by looking up the valuation number on your Council Tax bill. You can do this online via the Valuation Office website.
Alternatively, you can check if you’re eligible for the rebate by entering your address in our calculator.