Have you paid too much Income Tax?
If you are on the wrong tax code, you have more than one job or if you have changed jobs during the tax year you may well find yourself in a situation where you have paid too much income tax.
Our guide looks at when you might have paid too much tax and how you go about claiming a tax refund.
Why you may have paid too much tax
There are lots of reasons that you may have paid too much income tax. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Your employer was using the wrong tax code (for more information on tax codes head here)
- You have changed jobs and were on an emergency tax code for a period
- You are a student, only worked during the holidays and didn’t complete the tax form P38S
- You had more than one job
- You were made redundant during the tax year
- You were only employed for part of the tax year
- Other income that you receive (rental income, savings/investment income) has reduced from previous years and you didn’t let HM Revenue and Customs know
- You changed from full to part time work or you became self employed part way through the tax year
How to claim back overpaid tax in the current tax year
If you think you have paid too much tax in the current tax year, you can approach HMRC to claim your tax back.
If you are an employee, contact HMRC and tell them why you think you paid too much tax. HMRC should have all the information to determine whether you have overpaid although they may ask you to forward additional documents to support your claim.
If you have overpaid, your tax code will probably be altered in order that any refund will be paid with your wages.
How to claim back overpaid tax in previous tax years
If you think you have paid too much tax in a previous tax year, you should again write to HMRC including any appropriate documentation, such as a P60 or P45. Also include any relevant information about your employment history and any benefits that you may have received.
HMRC will investigate your query and, if you are due a tax refund, you will receive a cheque in the post.
There are time limits for claiming a tax refund if you’re employed. You normally have four years from the end of the relevant tax year to submit a claim, although you have until 31 January 2012 to claim a refund from tax year 2005/6 and until 31 March 2012 to claim a refund for tax year 2006/7.