How can I get my tax refund?

Am I eligible for a tax refund?

There are a number of reasons why tax may have been overpaid, and you should get a tax refund, including:

  • you start a new job and are taxed under an emergency code for a while
  • you marry or form a civil partnership and you or your spouse or civil partner is born before 6 April 1935
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) sends the wrong tax code to your employer. May be your employer does not use the correct code
  • you are self-employed and you make payments on account for the following year, under the Self-Assessment scheme. These payments are too high because of a change in your circumstances. For example, there has been a downturn in your business. You have not made a claim to reduce your payments on account. Your final tax liability turns out to be less than the tax you have actually paid
  • you’re a pensioner with more than one occupational pension. Your tax-free personal allowances have not been allocated properly so you’ve paid too much tax
  • you have more than one job. The employer at your second job will automatically deduct tax at the basic rate. So you may not get the benefit of all your tax-free personal allowances. This will frequently apply if you are a student or low-paid worker.

Are tax refunds automatic from HMRC?

Some kinds of tax refund are taken care of for you by HMRC. Assuming they know you’re owed money back. When this happens, you’ll get a P800 tax calculation from the taxman. The P800 will tell you how much HMRC thinks you should have been taxed. If you’ve paid more than that, you’ll get sent a refund automatically. On the other hand, if they think you haven’t paid enough, they’ll take action to get the rest from you. Typically, this will mean a change in your tax code. Although you’ll sometimes get the option to pay it directly.

You might also be owed a tax refund if you stopped work part-way through the year. If you have a temporary or emergency tax code you might get a refund. If HMRC or your employer makes a mistake, your tax code might even just be flat-out wrong. Again, HMRC won’t give you your money back unless they know you’ve overpaid. If you think this applies to you, talk to SMALL BUSINESS ACCOUNTANT to see what we can do about it. We’re on great terms with HMRC and can take care of all the messy details for you.

If you’re owed a refund because of travel to temporary workplaces or other allowable expenses. However, things are different. HMRC won’t pay you back automatically because they won’t know how much they owe you or why. When that happens, you have to do some legwork yourself to get your money back. That means keeping records, holding onto receipts and learning the rules on what you can claim for. This is what SMALL BUSINESSACCOUNTANT  Tax Refunds is all about, so get in touch to see how much you can claim a refund.

Can I claim a backdated tax refund?

HMRC’s rules for tax refunds say you can claim your cash back for the previous 4 tax years. It doesn’t matter what you’re claiming for, or whether you changed employer in that time or spend periods self-employed or out of work. A lot of people get put off claiming for more than one year by the paperwork involved. It’s actually a lot less hassle than it seems, and it can make a huge difference to your refund. SMALL BUSINESS ACCOUNTANT can even talk to your past and present employers to dig out the key details we need for your claim. Even if the company has since gone out of business there are still ways we can help you.

When you’re thinking through your work expenses for the last few years, don’t forget that it’s about more than just travel. In addition to the costs of using your own vehicle or public transport, you can also claim for things like food, accommodation and more. We know it sounds like a lot of bookkeeping, but with just a few basic details we can do all the heavy lifting for you. These are set amounts that HMRC has decided are fair for various work-related expenses. Again, talk to SMALL BUSINESS ACCOUNTANT to see what the best option for you is