How to claim back tax in the UK

If you’re yet to claim back your overpaid tax, you could be due a substantial amount of money. There are two ways to claim a tax refund: you can do it yourself through HMRC, or you can enlist the help of a reputable tax refund agency.


One in three people are due a tax refund; the average refund is in the region of £900. You won’t see any of this unless you submit your claim.


To submit your claim through HMRC, you’ll need to set aside time to accumulate all the necessary documentation, fill in the relevant forms, and send your claim application to your local tax office. You will need:

  • Covering Letter
  • P45/P60s from all employers you have worked for in the past 4 tax years;
  • P91 form;
  • P85/P86 – if you are leaving or entering the UK;
  • Form P38(S) – Inland Revenue Student Exemption if relevant.


Claiming through an agency cuts your work down drastically. The steps are the same and you’ll need the same information and forms, but a good agency will liaise with HMRC on your behalf, locate P45s and P60s for you, and get your money to you sooner.

The downside is that some of your money will go towards the fee. This only really becomes a problem if you are not owed any money and the agency you use charges a fee regardless of whether your claim is successful or not. Avoid this by choosing an agency that only charges a commission on successful claims.

For assistance with claiming back your overpaid tax, visit 1st Contact Tax Refunds or call 0808 141 5503. We have processed more than 130 000 successful claims and we work on a ‘no refund – no fee’ policy.

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