We have heard from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) this week that it is preparing to send out tax rebates totalling £2.5 billion between now and the end of next year, as it clears its backlog of pay as you earn (PAYE) open cases for the tax years 2003 to 2008.
You may be very surprised to learn that there are many more tax rebates also sitting at HMRC waiting to be claimed.
Situations where you may have paid too much tax include:
- you started a new job and had an emergency tax code for a while
- your employer was using the wrong tax code
- you were only employed for part of the year
- you’re a student who only worked at holiday times and didn’t complete form P38S Student Employees
- you had more than one job at the same time
- other income you have which is taxed through your tax code for example, savings/investment income has reduced since you last told HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about it – which means the amount of income included in your tax code is too high
- you stopped working and didn’t get any taxable earnings or benefits for the rest of the year
- your circumstances changed – for example you changed from full to part-time working or became self-employed
- you were made redundant
In all these situations unless you notify HMRC that this was the case, they will not know that you are due a tax rebate and so will hang on to ‘your money’. Your position might be even better than you realise as the time limits for making claims are 6 years.
According to HMRC claiming a tax rebate is simple and they suggest:
“Write to us and include any relevant documents about your earnings during the tax year for which you’re claiming, such as:
- P60, P45
- information about your employment and benefit history
We will look into your query, work out how much we owe you and send you a refund in the post.
In most cases you’ll get back the tax you’ve overpaid as long as you claim on time”.
Experience suggests that it is not always so simple. Mark Morris a UK taxpayer says ‘dealing with HMRC can be very frustrating; they don’t answer calls or are permanently engaged, they have lost my paperwork and generally don’t seem to be very efficient’.
There is another alternative and that is to use an agent to complete the process for you. Companies, like 1st Contact Refunds, will be able to work out exactly what you are due, collate the correct paperwork and follow the process through until the rebate is received.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your hard earned money sitting with HMRC.
For advice and information on tax refunds, please visit www.1stcontact-taxrefunds.com or call 0808 141 5503.