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The most FAQs on how to claim tax back

Here you can find answers to the following questions:


1. Do I need a National Insurance number?

An National Insurance (NI) number is a reference number that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) uses to record where you have worked and what your earnings have been. You are obligated by law to get a permanent NI number once you start working in the UK.

Due to increased security at HMRC, it is now a firm requirement to obtain an NI number in order for your tax rebate to be processed. If you have already left the UK, it is still advisable to apply for an NI number.

Our Kickstart team can assist you obtaining your NI number, please call us on +44 (0) 80 8141 1646 or email them at for further information.

2. How long does it take to get a tax refund?

Once you have provided us with your details and all your documentation, we will process and submit your claim to HMRC. We aim to finalise your claim within six to eight weeks, which allows for the average tax office postal backlog of six weeks.

Please note: that some claims may exceed the expected completion time due to the client not having a permanent NI number, providing incorrect or insufficient information and/or unavoidable delays caused by HMRC. Unfortunately, all correspondence with HMRC is done via telephone and post.

3. What is a Self Assessment tax return?

Self Assessment requires the mandatory submission of a tax return. This is an HMRC issued document, which requires you to declare your earnings and tax paid for a financial year.

Please note: that, unlike a tax refund claim, a Self Assessment tax return is required by law from certain individuals.

4. Who needs to complete a Self Assessment tax return?

If you have more complicated tax affairs than the straight PAYE system, you may need to complete a tax return.

There are also certain circumstances in which you will always need to complete a tax return - for example if you're self-employed, a company director or a trustee, or if you have foreign income.

5. What if I have received benefits from my employer?

Any benefits received are taxable and you will need to obtain a P11D from your employer for each tax year that you received benefits. This form must be submitted along with your P45s and P60s.

If you have received any dividend income, you will need to submit a dividend certificate for the relevant tax year.

6. Can I claim my tax back when I am outside the country?

Yes, you can claim back any tax you may have overpaid, even if you have already left the country. But only as long as you submit a claim through 1st Contact within five years of leaving the UK, along with the necessary documents you will still be eligible.

7. What are our fees?

We have a no refund, no fee policy. If there is no refund due to you from HMRC, we won’t charge you any fees.

We also have price-match policy - we will match any price quoted by another ATA-bonded company.

Our fees are 15% +VAT (subject to a £30 admin fee).

A minimum of £50 +VAT will be charged on all claims. VAT won’t be charged if you choose to have your refund deposited into a non-UK bank account.

If you choose to use 1st Contact Shipping to get your excess baggage home, the commission rate for your tax refund will drop to 10%.

Couldn’t find the answer to your question? Call us at +44 (0) 20 7759 7560 or email us for a free consultation with a tax refund adviser.





We have some exciting news
for all our 1st Contact clients...

1st Contact is rebranding to Sable International!

For the last 18 months we've been merging with our big brother, Sable International. By the end of the year, we're going to complete the rebrand.

The accountants, brokers, advisors and caseworkers that you are used to dealing with will not be going anywhere as the entire 1st Contact team will be in the same roles at Sable International. You'll still get that same great service, just under a new name.

We'll be keeping you in the loop as we prepare for the next exciting phase in this rebranding.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly.

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