Moving Abroad? Claim a Tax Refund from HMRC

According to the Office of National Statistics, more than 395,000 people left the UK to move abroad in 2008, an increase of 24% on the previous year. Each week we receive a number of questions from people asking if they can claim a tax refund if they are moving abroad. Our tax experts answer some of the most common questions on this subject, if you do not find an answer to your question, please send is an E-mail:

Can I claim a tax refund when leaving the UK to move abroad?
Yes. If you have been working in the tax year before leaving the UK you will be able to claim a tax refund. Everyone that works in the UK is given a tax free allowance. In the 2009/2010 tax year this was £6475. This tax free allowance is usually spread evenly throughout the year so that you receive part of the allowance in each pay packet. If you move abroad part way through the tax year, you will not have received your total tax free allowance and as a result you will be due a tax refund.

Moving abroad? Claim a tax refund

Can I claim all my tax back when moving abroad?
It depends on how much you have earned and how much you have paid in the tax year. If you have earned less than the tax free allowance (£6475 in the 2009/2010 tax year) you will be able to claim back any tax that you have paid. If you have earned more than the allowance you will still be able to make a claim, but the amount you receive will depend upon your total income and the total already paid in tax.

How can I calculate my tax rebate?
You can calculate your tax rebate for previous years by taking your P60, which should be given to you by your employer every April or May. Input the income and tax figures from the P60 into the tax refund calculator to calculate your rebate.

If you have finished working because you are moving abroad, your employer should have given you a P45. Input the tax and income figures from this into the tax refund calculator to calculate your tax refund.

I do not have my P45/P60 can I still make a claim?
Yes. If you do not have a P45/P60 you can get a statement of earnings from your previous employer. The Inland Revenue will accept a statement of earnings as a replacement for a P60 or P45.

I moved abroad 3 years ago; can I still claim a tax refund?
Yes. The furthest back you can make a claim is 6 years in arrears. If you moved abroad anytime in the last 6 years and did not make a claim, now is your chance!

How do I claim my tax refund?
You can either make a claim yourself or you can use a tax refund agent to help you make your claim. If you are making the claim yourself, you will need:

  • Any P45/P60’s
  • A P91 – Employment History form
  • P85/P86 – Leaving/Entering the UK forms
  • Covering Letter

These will need to be completed and sent to your local tax office.

Can I claim a National Insurance refund when moving abroad?
If you are still resident in the UK you can make a National insurance rebate claim. If you have left the UK already, unfortunately it is too late.



  1. Kevin Clancy says:

    I lived in the UK for five yrs and was self employed. They keep sending me letters for every yr saying I have not filed my tax return and are fining me. I did not respond and this has continued for five yrs. I own a rental property in the UK but pay the taxes through the real estate agents. What actions do I need to take.


  2. Jon says:

    I left the UK to move permanently to Sweden in December 2000 and still live here. Unfortunately, I didn’t make any tax rebate claim though I was employed the whole of that year in London. Have I lost all claim to a tax rebate?
    Am I entitled to a state pension from the UK when I retire?
    I was employed and a tax payer after all in the UK between 1979 and 2000?
    Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated ….

  3. Luigina says:

    I lived/worked in the UK between 1999 and 2006.
    Then I moved to Italy and France.
    I’ve never claimed my taxes back.
    Am I still on time?
    What about the retirement contributions paid?
    Would I get a retirement payement from UK?

    Thanks for your advice

  4. KC says:

    Hi.. Hope you could help me, When I filled up a form to get my tax rebate before leaving uk, I tick the option to send it to my nominee’s bank account. However, now that i am here in my home country, they still sent me a cheque. Unfortunately, i tried to ask almost all the banks here if i can cash it or deposit but there’s no chance for me to do it. Will it be possible if they cancel the cheque and send it here in my bank account here or maybe my nominee’s bank account? As i badly needed my money too.. Thanks!

  5. Ernest says:

    Any one know how to get form P45 from HM if im already abroad? what i need to send them by post?

    • TaxFix says:

      Ernest: If you need a replacement P45, you should contact your previous employer and ask them to provide a statement of earnings on company headed paper. This can be used by HMRC as a replacement for a P45.

  6. Pia says:

    Good day.I want to ask some pieces of advice on how can I have my cheque that was sent to my home address when I was still in UK?The cheque came from HM revenue but I won’t be able to get it because I’m already here in the Philippines and I don’t have bank account anymore in UK.Please give me some advice to do because I need my money so badly.Thank you.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I am returning to UK tax residency after 10 years living in Portugal. I have investments in Portugal producing interest from which tax is deducted at source. Obviously, I have to declare the gross income but can I deduct this tax paid in Portugal from any tax owing in the UK? Someone has told me that all I can claim back under the Tax Treaty is 10%.
    Thank you

  8. Stephen Barratt says:

    Good evening all,

    I am currently on a Working Holiday Visa in Australia. I left the UK November 2012. I worked from January until the last date of October.

    I know I can get ‘some’ tax back.

    The previous year 2010-11 I lived in Orlando working for Disney. When I was out there I never claimed for anything and I still received my tax. Will this be the same case this time around?

    I would assume I am owed around £700 and I that would be a great sum out here. I don’t want to miss out by just assuming they will send the cheque to my UK residence without any effort from me. I would be happy to use a tax company.


  9. Alani says:


    My husband still lives in the UK… I moved back to South Africa 2 years ago. He has informed me that I have a cheque from the HMRC.
    It’s in my married surname.
    My account in south africa is in my maiden surname.
    Will they allow me to bank it like that, if he posts it out to me?
    (I do not have a UK account anymore and my husband only has a business account)…

    • TaxFix says:

      Alani: I would contact your bank and ask them if they would allow you to deposit it. If they do not you have ask HMRC to reissue the cheque.

  10. Jack says:

    i am planning to move back to my country after working in uk for two years i want to know if i can claim my NI contribution before i leave? if so how?
    i am leaving right at the end of the tax year so im not too keen on the income tax refund but the NI

  11. maggie says:

    Hi, I am Polish, have been leaving and working in the UK since July 2005. I am leaving UK in April 2013 to start live in Hong Kong. I topped working in December 2012. I would like to apply for tax return as I do not wish to have any pension in the future or return to work in UK. Is p85 all I have to do or is there any other piece of document I should relate to?

  12. Veronika says:

    Hello! I recently received an income tax refund cheque as notified by my friends. However, I no longer reside in the UK. Can HMRC issue an international cheque or transfer money to an international bank account? Do I need to submit any forms?

  13. Salman says:

    I am an international student, I have worked in UK for almost 6 years but never claimed tax-return. I am planning to leave the country in January 2013. Can I apply for tax return? Also is it possible to get the tax-return into my UK bank account? If I get an opportunity to come back to UK, will this effect me in any way??

  14. So Las says:


    I hope you can help on this. I have been working in the UK from nov11 to oct12 and i was wondering if i could only claim tax back regarding the last tax year or from the moment i started working in the uk ?
    Besides, i was told that if i claim tax back on the purpose that i leave the UK, i couldn’t be working anymore in the UK during 3 tax years, is it true ?
    Eventually, can you please confirm that if i claim tax back, i would have to make a statement to declare these income in my country of origin or not?

    Thanks for your help, i need to make sure i know all the details before i can start the process to claim my tax back.


  15. kinchit says:

    Hi Guys, can any body let me know regarding the tax refund. I was working in london and nw I moved down to my home country. I got check from HMRC and I no longer have any account in london. Is it possible to put the check into my native account to get the money. Has anybody done?? If yes, then how long it took to get cash in account.

    With regards

  16. Peter says:

    I am living in New Zealand and hav e been here for 7 years but I am still a UK resident but will be changing to become a New Zealand resident.

    Can I claim back any of my previous pension funds or national insurance contributions?

  17. Carla Tromboni says:

    I am an Italian citizen and I’ve been living and working in the UK since 1981.
    I’m considering moving back to Italy permanently but have not yet reached retirement age. My date of birth is 08/08/1957.
    If whilst living in Italy but not working, what would happen when I reach retirement age (66 for the UK and 65 for Italy) i.e. would I get my pension paid by the Italian government of the British government? Would it just be a basic state pension?

    Thanking you in advance.

    Kind regards

  18. Attila Jozsa says:

    Hi there,my name is Attila Jozsa and i work in the UK from 2009 of july,i want to leave UK in the middle of january 2013,i just want to know how much from my paid tax can i get back,and how long i have to wait for this money after i send theP85 form and my P45,and one last question I am eligible for National Insurance rebate?and how does this works?
    Thank you very much.
    Kind regards,Attila Jozsa

  19. Manou says:

    My husband is leaving the country then if he ask for his taxes back does it will affect his pension one day. Will he be able to ask for his uk pension? Thanks

  20. Jaspreet says:

    My husband and me left U.K.on 12 may 2012. My husband’s employer gave him P60 & P45. We collected a tax letter from inland avenue then i filled the requird column and post it to tax office along with P60 &P45 before one day leaving the country. Now two months has passed i could not get tax return. Pls help me how to track.

  21. darren says:

    hey,am working in the uk at min and heading to oz in oct time when would be best time to start tax reclaim??thanks

  22. Anthony Hulse says:

    My son has recently moved to USA and a cheque for a tax refund was sent to my address. He no longer has a bank account. How can he claim the money? Is it possible for me to place the money in my account and then to send him the money by Western Union?

  23. James says:

    I am moving abroad permanently. I have been paying tax for past 5 years. Can I claim any of tax back for previous years?

  24. Viola says:

    Hi there,

    I hope you can still help me with this. I worked in London for half a year in a shop (beginning of 2011). After that I moved back to Holland and I still live here. I have nó clue how to ask my tax back. I have my P60 and my P45. I called the insurance office already, but it cost me a lot and I lost my notes later on. I only remember them saying I needed to write them a few letters. Plus I think I need to do everything twice cuz I worked from januari to june and a tax year starts again in april or something? Please help me I will be very gratefull!

  25. neill says:

    Hi,I have been living in Canada since 2004 is it to late to claim for a fax refund?
    if I can how do I go about it?
    many thanks
    neill H

  26. marty says:

    my friend is leaving the UK. can he make pension contributions? if so, can he make more than the GBP 3600 per year and if so can he NOT claim back the tax on the amount AFTER GBP 3600? ie if he makes pension contributions to 2 different pension schemes, will he get tax relief on 2 x GBP 3600 contributions at the basic rate? how does the hmrc know?

  27. fenboy says:

    i own a property in spain on which i pay income tax can i claim this back from hmrc as i live and work in the uk

  28. Mark says:

    I have not left the uk yet, how much NI can i reclaim if i leave in March 2012?

  29. Mari says:

    can i cash tax refund cheque abroad?

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