Claiming Back Income Tax when you Leave UK Permanently

Claiming Back Income Tax when you Leave UK Permanently

In 2008 more then 395,000 people left the UK. Of these, 60% were migrants returning home permanently, while the remaining 40% were expats starting a new life abroad. Here our tax experts answer some frequently asked questions relating to claiming back tax when you leave the UK permanently:

Can I claim back income tax when I leave the UK?
Yes. Everyone that works in the UK is given a tax free allowance. In the tax year 2009/2010 this was £6,475, which is divided between your wages each week or month. If you leave the UK part way through the year, you will not have received your full tax free allowance and as a result should be due a tax refund.

How can I calculate my tax refund?
On your last day of work or shortly after, you should be given a P45 from your employer. On your P45 there will be the amounts you earned and paid in tax during the year. Input these figures into our tax rebate calculator and it will tell you if you are due a tax refund and how much it will be.

When can I claim my tax back?
Once you have stopped working and received your P45, you can then claim your tax refund.

I left the UK permanently 4 years ago, can I still claim?
Yes. You can still make a claim for up to 6 years. After 6 years you lose your eligibility to claim.

I have lost my P45/P60; can I still make a claim?
Yes. If you have lost your P45 or P60 you can still make a claim. You will need to contact your previous employer or employers and ask the payroll department for a ‘statement of earnings’. A statement of earnings is document which can be used as a replacement for a P45 or P60.

How do I claim my tax refund?
You can either make a claim yourself or you can use a tax refund agent such as TaxFix to help you make your claim.


  1. Larweh says:

    Hello. I left he UK in 2011 after studying and working there for almost 5 years.
    I was doing 2 jobs and received a p45 from one of my previous employers. The other employer however has folded and i did not receive a p45 from that employer.
    Is there a way around this.
    I am due to visit the UK for 3 months in 2014.
    How do i contact the HMRC from abroad?.
    Thank you.

    • DavidTaxFix says:

      if HMRC have a record of your employment with the other employer, you still may be able to claim a refund. You can contact your local tax office by phone or mail, even if you are abroad.

  2. Janis says:


    I wish to know how much i can claim tax back for last for years if my salary was 20000£ average, after leaving country.

  3. SINGH says:

    Hi there,

    i am an Indian citizen and i have been in this country since nov 2010 and my visa expiring on July 2015. so my question is i never claim for any tax return . but when i check previous comments i realize i can claim my payee tax back is that true ?? if yes i have paid almost 4000 pounds so far . if i would like to claim my tax next year july how much percentage of tax i can get back??

    • DavidTaxFix says:

      When you stop working you will be able to make a claim. Usually the rebate will be for the year in which you leave the UK, however we can check other eligible years for you as well.

      • SINGH says:

        thanks David tafix. and please help me with these calculations. actually this is my second job since i get in to this country. but unfortunately i lost my first company p45 and i am not sure is that company still existing or not. so if not how can i get p45 ??

  4. raul says:

    I will be leaving the UK in September and I’m planning to return and look for work in September next year (2015). Can I claim a tax rebate?


  5. Jai says:

    Hi Sir,

    My name is Jai and working in UK (London) from Sept 2013. I’ll be leaving UK permanently in Sept 2014. I’m paying tax amount of around £550 per month. From this site, I understood that, I’m eligible to claim tax paid from Apr 5th 2014 to last day in UK.It would be great if you can let me know the approx amount i’ll get.

    Also, can you please let me know if I can claim the tax that i have paid from Sept 2013 – Apr 2014?


  6. Rhythm says:

    I Studied, worked and lived in UK for 6 years and now have moved to Canada permanently. I submitted my P45 and P85 to claim the tax back. I heard from my friends that we can claim NI and part of taxes paid in previous tax years. is this true? do we get the tax back only for the tax year we left the country? or can we apply for NI or tax claim for previous years as well?

    • DavidTaxFix says:

      Usually the tax rebate will be for the year in which you leave the UK. We can check all other eligible years to see if you may have overpaid in those also. It is not however possible to claim back national insurance.

  7. naresh says:

    Hi my name is naresh i had recently came back to india permanently on may 2014 while coming before to my country i have applied tax refund with p85 and i submitted p45 with that i had stayed in uk from nov 2009- may 2014. my question is whether can i get ni tax refund for above mentioned years could you give me the answer for this .

  8. Lev says:

    Hi there. I’m hungarian, I’ve lived in the UK for more than 8 years. I’ve heard from one of my friends, that if I leave the UK permanently, I can claim back most of the taxes I’ve paid during the 8 year period. Is that true? If so, how? many thanks


    • DavidTaxFix says:

      If you are leaving the UK you can make a claim for a maximum of 4 years. Usually however the refund will just be for the year in which you leave the UK and will only be a proportion of the tax you paid. When you stop working you’ll be given a P45, when you have that you make your claim here.

  9. aivars says:

    hi there i had worked in UK allmust 2 years in two places. but i newer been given p45 form. what can i do?

    • DavidTaxFix says:

      If you were not given a P45, you can ask your employer to provide a statement of earnings on company headed paper which can be used as a replaement to claim your tax rebate.

  10. Maria says:

    I am planning to leave the UK in the beginning of the New year, I would like to know what steps to take

  11. Virseg says:

    Hi, my working period in the UK was from November 2012 until the end of May 2013. The annual period is until April so to apply for my taxes back of the very month of May do I have to enclose another P-85 form or it is all included in the same period?

    Thank you very much

  12. Asun Henares says:


    I am a Spanish national who has worked in the UK from Sep 1998 to April 2010, nearly 12 years. I left in July 2010 and now I have decided I´m not coming back.

    Can I claim tax and NI contributions back for the whole period or part of it?

    Can I give up my state pension rights and claim that money back?

    Thank you kindly.

    • TaxFix says:

      Asun Henares: As you left the UK you will be able to claim a tax rebate but not a national insurance refund. Claiming a tax rebate does not affect your eligibility to receive any state pension as you are simply claiming back an over payment of tax as you left the UK part way through the tax year.

  13. Doyin says:

    I have read most comments and answers and am not sure I fully understand. I am a foreigner, studied, lived and worked in the Uk for almost 4years and paid taxes in all that time (I am aware I have been in the right tax band and so haven’t overpaid on taxes). I have since relocated but am made to understand I am supposed to claim back my taxes. How true is this?
    Are tax refunds done on overpaid taxes only?
    Or am I actually due some sort of refund based on the circumstance?

    • TaxFix says:

      Doyin: It is true that you can claim a tax refund. Even if you were on the correct tax code, as you left the UK part way through the tax year you usually wouldn’t have received your full tax free allowance, as this is allocated evenly throughout the year. As a result someone who leaves the UK usually overpays tax and can claim a refund. If you would like us to check if you are due a tax refund, you can apply here.

  14. Meetul Patel says:

    I left UK 3years back n worked for a company for almost 5years and paid 19000+ tax so how much tax I can get back or refund ??

  15. S M Zafrul Hasan says:

    Hi I am living in London for 4 yrs as a student. But I am working as a full time worker from beginning. because my employer always has given me more hours. however, i needed money, that’s why i have studied and worked together.In average, I earn like 19k per year. Now i have decided to move to Bangladesh forever. My question is… can I claim for my whole 4 years tax back? And what i need to do if its possible? please let me know…..

    • TaxFix says:

      S M Zafrul Hasan: If you are leaving the UK your tax refund will usually just be for the year in which you leave the country. We can check other eligible years to see if you are due a tax refund for any of them. If you would like our help claiming your tax refund, you can apply here.

  16. paulo says:

    Hi i work in london 7 years never i want to go to my country i can i get my tax back?
    Were i can go and do it?i m still working

    • TaxFix says:

      Paulo: If you are leaving the UK you can claim a tax rebate. You can make your claim when you stop working. When you finish working your employer should give you a P45. When you have your P45 you can make your claim here.

  17. Sneha says:

    I left UK in 2012 January. I worked there from 2007 March to 2012 January. I have contacted HMRC and I did send P85 form for 2011-2012 year tax return. But they paid only £128. Is that the only amount I can claim if I left UK?

    • TaxFix says:

      Sneha: The amount that you can claim is based on how much you earned and paid in tax during the eligible tax years. Most people think they can claim back all of their tax but this isn’t usually the case, it’s only any over payment based on your tax free allowance.

  18. Guillaume says:


    Even after reading many of the questions and comments, all of this remain very confusing to me.

    I’m taking my example and would like you to enlighten me on this.

    I’m foreigner and lived and worked in UK for the past 5 years.
    I’ve always been paying the right amount of taxes.
    I’ve been paying for £25000 taxes ( NI not included ) over these 5 past years

    Am I eligible to claim back the taxes I have paid?

    Will I get the full amount back?

    Many thanks

    Kind regards


    • TaxFix says:

      Guillaume: It is unlikely that you will be able to claim all your tax back. Most people think that if they are leaving the UK that they can claim all their tax back, this is not usually the case. The tax refund is usually only for the year in which they are leaving the UK, because, as you are leaving the UK part way through the tax year you will not have received your full tax free allowance and hence can make a claim. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  19. Lily says:

    If I was working in the UK during 4 years, I left the country, but after 4 years I returned to the UK, I worked again, then can I still make a claim?
    I can make a claim for up to 6 years, I know, but 6 years from my last job or from my first leaving date from the UK?

  20. Tango says:

    Hi,I’m not a British citizen,but a Commonweath,and am in the Army.I’ve been in the Army for 11 years now but been made redundant recently.I’m leaving the UK in a couple of months time.Can I claim all my tax back?

    • TaxFix says:

      Tango: If you are leaving the UK you can claim a tax rebate, however you won’t be able to claim it all back, just for the year in which you are leaving the country. When you stop working you will be given a P45. When you have that you can make your claim.

  21. Richard J says:

    Hi I am Australian yet I have a UK passport which I use for everything whilst in the UK.
    I am leaving in july to go back to Australia for good. What do I do with my p45 when I get it and how do I claim back the tax I have paid? What kind of tax (N.I., PAYE etc.) will i be able to claim and how much much if any?
    Many Thanks

  22. Dean says:

    I’ve been in England for 16yrs I want to go back to Australia where I was born . Can I claim all my tax back.

  23. Sonia says:

    I have been working in the UK for 5 months 2012 and I’ve left the country since November to go back to my country of origin. There are no deductions for tax on my pay slip. Do I still have to complete the P85 form? Thank you in advance

  24. Szilvia says:

    Hi. I read all answers, but still not so clear for me what happening if I leave Uk forever. I started my work march of 2007 and I still work for the same company. If I leave Uk the end of march 2013 do I get back all tax what I have paid or one part of that? And what happening if I leave Uk end of May? For example my earnings going to be by the end of march around 23400 and paid tax going to be around 3340. My question how much tax can I get back around if I leave Uk in march or end of may. Thank you very much forward for your answer.

    • TaxFix says:

      Szilvia: If you are leaving the UK you will be able to claim a tax rebate, but usually you can not claim all of your tax back, just a portion of it. The amount of your tax rebate depends on how much you earned and paid in tax during each tax year (the tax year starts on the 6th April and it ends on 5th April of the following year. If you leave the UK in May, a new tax year will have started and you probably will not earn over the tax free allowance, so you may be able to claim back all of the tax that you have paid during that new tax year.

  25. Daniel croft says:

    Hi, I moved from uk to USA in 2004, am I entitled to claim anything? Will I have money owed to me?

  26. Nicolas says:

    Hi , i’m french and working in the uk since march 2001 for the same conpany.
    But in july i will leave the uk with the same company and be relocated in dubai . i won’t pay my tax in uk but in dubai . Is it worth to claim my tax back , how much can have back ?
    Thank in advance ,


  27. Gula says:

    Hi there!!
    I would like to leave Uk, permanetly. I have been living here for 4 years, and i would like to refund all taxes, what i have paid here, is it possible

  28. yann says:

    Im planning to leave this year.
    I heard that i can my taxes back.
    I not planning to come back in UK Can you pls tell me what can i get back.
    Can you do the paper work for me?

  29. reddy says:

    i am leaving UK permanently i wanna claim my tax, am i getting whole tax return which i paid from 4 years or only certain amount from that tax amount ? one more thing i wanna let you know that i am getting every year overpaid tax amount return. please let me know the details i will be thankful to you…

  30. den says:

    I’m an international student leaving UK permanently, now I received a letter from hmrc that I owe 499.95 pounds for I was given another tax allowance the 2nd time. Do I need to pay the underpaid tax?

  31. joao says:


    i work about 4 months in uk, im already leave the country, should i ask for a refund?since they already pay me once because the tax code was wrong in the 2 first months!!!

  32. ally says:

    Hi, Does the tax office notify you once the refund has been processed?

  33. Jacky says:

    Hi, hope you can see this. I have got my ILR (UK residence) in this year, after that I decided to move to another country to work, my understanding is I need to fill P85 to claim back, but does this mean I can’t return to UK for resident in the next 12 months or so pls? As my concern is they can’t let me go through the custom.

    Thanks from Jacky

  34. Francesca Stefani says:

    Goodmorning, my name is Francesca Stefani i’m italian and i been living in the UK for 4 years. Last years i left the UK, i did my claim for my tax back but the problem was that the company of my employer failed and he doesn’t give the statement of earnings or the p45 or the p60. After one mounth, i think, he star up with a new company( ding dong restaurant) and from june to october i paid a big amount of tax. my question is: why i cannot receive just the tax from the other company? there is not point you cannot give my tax back because my last employer failed with the other company and he cannot give the documents that i need! i’m very disappointed.

  35. Marthina says:

    I am leaving the UK soon permanently to return to my own country. Will I be able to claim back all my tax for the past 5 years that I have paid. I have not maid any claims in the past 5 years as I was working as a midwife for the NHS

  36. Deep Arora says:


    I am working in France from past 2 years and now I am moving to UK from my company.
    Can I claim back income tax when I am leaving from France?
    From where and How can I claim for it?

    Please provide your inputs.


  37. Anna says:

    i worked in england for 10years .can i claim all income tax when i leave uk pernamently?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hi.. I used to live in the UK and have just received a tax rebate but I now live in the USA and I have closed down my UK bank account. Can i still claim this money? and how do i cash the cheque?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi.. I used to live in the UK and have just received a tax rebate but I now live in the USA and I have closed down my UK bank account. Can i still claim this money? and how do i cash the cheque?

  40. Nicola says:

    Hi their
    I left the UK last month and have moved back to south africa my work sent my p45 to an incorrect address and now am unable to get it,I have asked for a statment of earnings on company headed paper to which they have just ignored me. Can I claim my tax back just by filing out a p85 and sending my last pay slip? please help thanks

  41. GJI says:

    I’ve started to work in the UK in June 2011. I planning to go back to my country, and I have no plans to come back. I’m not sure I understand it. Can I get my all paid tax back? Or just some of it?
    I heard if I want to leave the UK I can get back all my paid tax, if I won’t come back in the next 5 years.
    Thank you for your answer!

  42. matteo says:

    i’ve been working full time for 2 years time . how much tax should i get back ?

  43. Anil says:

    If I claim my tax back . After 6 month again I want to came back to UK . Then UKBA they will give me the visa or not . Or if I got the visa can I work again or not??? Please guide me I am very confused.

  44. Joanna says:

    Hi I can cam back to Uk after I claim my tax fix and I left the UK. Thanks

  45. Anonymus says:

    HI. I left the Uk for Goodin May 2012. I reclaimed the tax for all the years i spent in Uk. Now I have changed my mind and like to come back to UK for Good in February 2013. Is that true that i cant work here for a couple of years when Im back? I cannot find any information about this online. Could You give me more info about what I have to do to be legally a worker in the UK. Im from a part of EU so i do not need visa. Thank you for your help.

  46. Jessica says:

    Hi There,

    I lived in the uk for just under two years. I received a tax refund when i left the country for good last october. I have now this October received a letter saying i underpaid my tax but over 100 pounds even though i received a refund when i left. Is that possible and do i have to pay it back now that i am not living there?

  47. Jessica Martin says:

    Hi I am an Australian citizen who worked for 3 months in London I have been told that I have to do my tax refund at the airport the day I leave the UK to go back to Australia. Is this the case?

  48. Mr Ravessh Kamal says:

    I have worked for 15 years in the UK and moved to Italy five years ago. I want to make a claim for my tax rebate. My previous employees have been unhelpful. Despite numerous requests they have not issued my P60 or P45. What can I do now to obtain this as I am running out of time?

    Also during those 15 years, I also worked for other organisations. I want to claim for all the years I have worked in the UK. Can you advise me how I would do this as I have limited time now.

  49. Paulo says:

    I worked in UK for about 8 years, cam I claim those 8 years tax money back?

  50. kris says:

    hi,I ave planed to move to states this October 2012 can I claim my whole tax which is from 2007-2012 is that possible? or only the current year? help me with this please:)

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