Claiming Tax Back When Going Traveling

Claiming Tax Back When Travelling

Are you leaving to go traveling or have you already left the UK? If so, you can claim a tax refund from the Inland Revenue. Our tax experts answer some common tax questions:

Is everyone due a tax refund when leaving the country to go traveling?
If you have worked in the UK and paid tax at any point in the last 6 years then you are eligible to claim a tax refund from the government.

How much of the tax that I paid will I be able to claim? Can I claim it all back?
It depends. If you have earned less than the tax free allowance then you can claim back all of your tax. If you have earned more than the allowance, you will be able to claim a portion back. The amount will depend on how much you have earned and how much you have paid in tax.

How can I calculate my tax rebate?
On your last day of work your employer should provide you with a P45. On the P45 you will find your income and tax totals for the year. Input these totals into our tax refund calculator and it will tell you instantly if you are due a tax refund.

What about tax rebates for previous years?
In April each year, if you are working you should be given a P60 from your employer. You can check to see if you have overpaid in these years using our tax rebate calculator. The longest you can claim in arrears is 6 years.

How soon can I claim my tax refund?
As soon as you are given your P45 from your employer you can claim your tax refund.

How long does it take to claim a tax refund?
Refunds usually take between 6-8 weeks to be issued from the Inland Revenue but can sometimes take longer if there is a backlog.

If you have any other questions, watch the short explainer video below or alternatively ask a question in the comments and we’ll personally answer it:




  1. Tania 9112 says:

    Hello . What about if I’m just visiting the uk for 6 months . I’m from Central America and I’ve been buying clothes, shoes and others. Can I claim taxes before leaving ?

  2. stef says:

    hi,i left my job at the end of june 2012 to go travelling,i prob wont be back in the uk until march 2014,will i recieve a tax rebate at the end of the financial year in 2013

  3. Donald MacLean says:

    Hello. I am currently traveling on a round the world trip. I wil be out of the UK for 185 days. I am trying to find out what tax I can claim back. From April this year until the beginning of June when I left, I earned around £8900. I payed around £1800 in taxes. When I return to the UK, I’ll probably work until next April. What refund am I entitled to? I heard that if you’re out of the UK for more than 183 days your entitled to claim all taxes for the entire year. Guidance would be appreciated. Thanks

  4. claiming back tax while abroad says:

    Dear Sir, Madam,
    I am a self-employed translator resident in the UK and I am a British tax-payer. However, I spend about three months a year in Italy (I go out for short periods 3-4 times a year) and I would like to know if I am entitled to claim back tax for that time?
    Many thanks in advance for any advice.
    Best regards

  5. tony says:

    have worked in uk for 20 months now back working in ireland can i claim all my tax back

  6. Leena says:

    Hi my husband and I both left our jobs to go travelling for 4 months on April 2nd we will be home in the UK in August can we claim tax back?

  7. Keisha says:

    How do I know if I am entitled to personal allowance?

  8. Carly says:

    Hi, my boyfriend and I went traveling in April 2011 and returned to the UK in November 2011. We were not working during our time away but were both offered jobs back at our original places of work when we returned. We both returned to work in December 2011. Are we entitled to claim tax a) for the time we were traveling and b) on our pay since returning to work, as we think maybe this falls under the allowance you are allowed to have before paying tax? Help! Thanks so much.

  9. Nathan Ward says:


    I am looking to buy a digital camera and will be going on an international holiday very soon. Am I able to claim some of the duty back of the camera?

    Cheers, Nathan

  10. Silvia says:

    I’m planning to spend 6 months of my 12 months maternity leave abroad.
    Am I entitled to claim tax back? At the end of the 6 months I’ll return to my current position.

  11. Toman says:

    I`m a foreigner who worked in the UK in the tax year 2005-2006. Can I still claim Tax refund?

  12. Dan says:

    Hi, I have recently taken an 8week break from work, i dont have a p45 as im going back to that employment soon but havent received any pay in my 8weeks off, can i claim a tax rebate through a statement of earnings form before i return to work? Thanks

  13. Isaac Ugbode says:

    Hi there, my wife and I went travelling from March 15, 2011 and returned back to the UK 29 April, 2011. Our employers allowed us to take an extended unpaid leave of absense. Are we entitled to a tax rebate at all?

  14. Mohammed says:

    I have left UK a month ago. I want to apply for tax refund for this and previous year. i have my last payslip which shows total earnings and tax paid. i dont have P45 or any other document. Can i get my tax refund?

  15. anonymous says:

    hello.. can anyone help? what is the time limit of traveling to be elegible to get a rebate? for example if someone goes to travel outside the uk for 2-3 months are they elegible for a rebate? thanks in advance

  16. maria says:

    i would like to ask you is that possible to claim all tax paid refund from last six years when i am staying in uk?

  17. Lee says:

    I’ve already claimed a tax rebate at the end of last year as I was on emergency tax. I am however leaving the country soon. Is it still possible to claim any tax or national insurance back? If so could I still return to England one day and work again?

  18. Diana says:

    Hello, I’m studying in uk, gonna complete my course by the 15th september and back home on 17th september, my visa expires 30/11/11, I’ve made some purchases on august 18th, can I claim for tax refund?

  19. Ciarain says:

    We (both non-UK citizens) have been living in the UK for almost 3 years. We just got engaged and are moving back to Australia. Is it possible to claim the VAT back on the engagement ring when we leave the country? How is this done?

  20. terry says:

    I am leaving the country for 10 months bu twill not get a p45 as i will still have a job where i am working, can i still reclaim the tax i have paid so far this year?

    • TaxFix says:

      terry: Yes, you can still make a claim. If you are not given a P45, you can ask your employer for a statement of earnings on company headed paper which can be used as a replacement for a P45 to make your claim.

  21. Szilvia says:

    Hi, Im still in England, working for the same company in the last 2 years. I would like to go home, so it looks like I can have my tax back what I paid since Im here. My question if I will come back for example a half year later, should I pay this money back and if yes, do I have to pay once, or can I paying monthly?
    Thank you

  22. Szilvia says:

    Hi, Im still in England, working for the same company in the last 2 years. I would like to go home, so it looks like I can have my tax back what I paid since Im here. My question if I will come back for example a half year later, should I pay this money back and if yes, do I have to pay once, or can I paying monthly?
    Thank you

  23. Javier says:

    I am planning to leave Uk for 3 months, claiming tax back would affect my visa application?

  24. Samantha says:

    I have worked this whole tax year (2010-2011), I am going traveling in June. Am I able to claim any tax back?

  25. David says:

    I spent over 8 months working abroad this tax year, although I am based in the UK. Can I claim a portion of my tax back because I spend more than 6 months working outside the UK in China ?

  26. Reggie says:

    i am in the armed forces, i have been in afganistian for near 7 months, can i claim tax back

  27. Patricia says:

    I left the UK in 2007 and stopped working then.I come to visit from time to time and stay for a number of weeks. How do I claim back tax and NI if I never recieved a P45 when I left,thanks

    • TaxFix says:

      Patricia: You can write to your employer and ask for a statement of earnings on company headed paper. This can be used as a replacement for a P45.

  28. aqeel says:

    my earning for this tax year is £7000, will i still be entitled to my tax back

  29. Charmaine says:

    My son and his girlfriend both gave up their jobs last August (2010) to go travelling. They will be returning in January 2012. Do they still have to pay their National Insurance Contributions? If so, how to they do it. Also, would they be entitled to any tax rebate for when they were working. Many thanks.

  30. Jade Newman says:

    I am travelling at the moment and left the UK a couple of months ago. I have received a tax rebate for the tax year 2010 / 2011. During my travels I will not be working abroad.

    I plan on returning from my travels in March 2011. I do not plan on working untill mid April 2011 or later. Will I have to pay back any of the rebate I have received

  31. Jade Newman says:

    I left the UK in August 2010 to go travelling. I have applied for and received a tax rebate. My return date to the UK is March 2011. I will not be seeking employment upon my return untill mid April 2011.

    Do I have to repay any of the Tax rebate upon my return to the UK in March 2011?

  32. jason scott lee says:

    hey i have no remaining p45’s from my employers, will i be entitled to apply for tax going back the whole 6 years, can possibly get some from previous employers but others i have no idea where they are based or even if they still trade

  33. ling says:

    i claim a tax refund four weeks ago,still waiting,but i ve changed my mind,i need go back to china soon.i would like the refund to go into my friend s account,but i dont know what shall i do to get it changed?

  34. Cristina says:

    If i am leaving the country and i claim tax back, can come back to UK to work?

    • TaxFix says:

      Cristina: Yes if you are leaving the country you are entitled to claim a tax rebate. When you stop working you should be given a P45. When you have this you can claim your tax back here. Claiming a tax rebate does not affect your eligibility to come back or work in the UK.

  35. henna says:

    since april 2010 until 12th sept i have worked full time my pay to date is £7000 tax was £900 my tax code is 647L, i should get my p45 by 25th of sept and plan to travel for until next april much tax would i get and does it affect if i have saving in the bank for £5000.thanks

  36. Lew says:

    Hi I am a director of a company and went travelling for 7 weeks last tax year (late November to middle jan) I was still paid my monthly salary while abroad and did not leave my company or work while travelling. Am I entitled to a tax rebate on earnings while out of the country? Thanks

  37. Massimo says:

    Hi i took a break of service for six months to go travelling between oct 2009 and april 2010, i have now returned to my previous job, can i claim a tax rebate or is it too late
    many thanks

    • TaxFix says:

      Massimo: You can still claim a tax rebate. Do you have a P45 from when you finished working in October 2009? If so you can claim your tax rebate here. If you do not have a P45, you can write to your employer and request a statement of earnings which can be used as a replacement for a P45. We can Email you a template letter to send to your employer if you like, just write to

  38. michelle says:

    I am also taking a career break from november for 7 month travelling…..can I ask how long the process is of reclaiming tax back?
    thanks in advance

    • TaxFix says:

      michelle: Claiming tax back usually takes between 4-8 weeks if you have all the required documents such as a P45 or P60. Sometimes claims can take longer as it depends on the back logs with your tax office, and how long they take to issue the refund.

  39. Gem says:

    Hi please can you help … I am going on a career break in November for a year and am looking to reclaim my tax back before I go as I wont have worked for a full tax year. How do I go about this? also I am returning to my job when I come back to the UK so I wont get a p45, does this matter? and I how do I go about reclaiming without one?

    • TaxFix says:

      Gem: If you leave the UK you can claim a tax rebate. When you go on your career break you can claim your tax rebate. If you do not have a P45 you can ask your employer for a statement of earnings on company headed paper which can be used as a replacement.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I have been travelling for 18 months and I have not claimed the tax for which I worked prior to leaving the country. I have returned to the UK and I am looking to claim this back and also to see my entitlement as I am not working. Can you help –

  41. Laura says:

    Hi my partner and I are going travelling to canada for a year. We are leaving next week.
    My partner wants to claim his tax rebate when we return to England, is this ok or is it best to apply for it now?

    • TaxFix says:

      Laura: If you are leaving the UK you can claim a tax rebate. Your husband’s employer should provide him with a P45, and when he has this he can make a claim by applying here. We do not suggest that you wait as the deadlines for claiming a tax rebate are being reduced and you could forget to make a claim before it is too late.

  42. Kyra says:

    TaxFix – how will getting the refund affect my pension/ability to claim benefits in the long term?

  43. Kyra says:

    As with post above, I am going travelling for 12 months in September and would like to claim a tax refund for this tax year.

    How would this affect my pension claims/benefits claims in the future?


    • TaxFix says:

      Kyra: Everyone that works in the UK is given a tax free allowance (currently £6,475). This allowance is distributed evenly through the year in your pay packet. If you leave the UK part way through the year, you will not get your full allowance, and can therefore claim a refund. You can make your claim when you have your P45 which your employer should give you when you finish work.

  44. Tania says:

    I’m on a career break for a year and am gone travelling. Can I still claim tax refund if i don’t have P45?

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