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. Can you bank a refund cheque abroad? says:

    My former flatmate has moved to Italy, and I’ve just received a tax refund cheque for him. He doesn’t have a UK bank account anymore.

    Can you bank a UK cheque in a foreign bank? If so, I can just post it to him.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

  2. M Smit says:


    I am a South African resident who worked in the UK from 2007-208.
    I received a cheque from HMRC for a repayment for income tax.
    The problem I have is that I can’t deposit the cheque in South Africa. I have closed my UK Bank account last year.
    Any advice?

    Kind Regards

    Dr M Smit

  3. Mark Meakins says:

    I received a cheque for a rebate for my son’s tax return .. He is abroad now and does not hold an account at the moment. Is it possible for me to cash his cheque here in the UK for him If he signs it and sends it back to me or can he cash it in Canada?If yes what banks could cash it for him? Please can you let me know? Thank you . I saw a few similar questions below without an answer.

  4. Anonymous says:

    my niece worked in the UK and has since moved back to South Africa. I received a cheque for her from inland revenue.How can I get them to send money directly to her

  5. anna says:

    I received a cheque from the HM revenue, my parents whom still reside in the UK have sent it to me. Is it possible to deposit the cheque here, in South Africa?

  6. Amber says:

    I am just about to move to italy to work as a nanny, im planing be there for over a year or likely to be even longer. Do i still have to pay uk whilst i am there? or do i pay taxes in italy?

  7. gary says:

    iam moving to turkey to live next year i am 53 and been retired for a year,do i have to inform my local tax office regarding my move?

  8. enrico galli says:

    I have been issue a cheque by the tax office as a tax rebate, but i dont have a bank account in the UK anymore,can i put this cheque into my overseas account? how can i cashh this cheque without an account in the UK?? any help?

  9. Orkidea says:

    Hi, I was owed tax refund for 2002 and left UK 2004 permanently. Now 2011 I am back and I wonder if I can claim it now considering that I was not in UK to claim it then. It is around 4500 GBP according to my accountant.

  10. malcolm says:

    my wife has been in the country now for 22 years and has been a British subject now for about 18 years,and has always been in full time employment. we are going to retire to the Philippines in about 2 1/2 years but my wife will not be quite at pension age and will have to wait to reach her retirement age before she can recieve her pension , can she recieve a tax rebate and a national insurance rebate before we leave the country and also the same for me , .
    At the time of leaving the uk I will be at retirement age hopefully leaving with my pension.
    kindest regards

  11. Camilo Gomez says:

    I apply to get my taxes back last april, I left the country in May and I still waiting. I called few times and sent few emails but i haven’t had any answer

  12. Quinton says:

    I moved back from the UK a year ago and my wife and I received a tax refund each, we live in South Africa and would like to know if we can cash the refund cheques here or would HMRevenue in UK be able to pay the ammount in to our UK bank account?

    thank you

  13. Gav says:

    Hi, I have not been working for 6 weeks and the next time I’ll start working will be in Hong Kong. I have the intention of moving there on a permanent basis in a month or so but obviously I don’t know what the future holds, so I may return to the UK at some point. Shall I put in a claim for income tax now or can I trust HMRC to deal with this when the tax year ends? Also, should I bother to put in a claim in for NICs as I don’t know if there will be some complications if I happen to return? Apologies, my tax knowledge is a little rusty.

  14. Craig says:

    What is required in moving a company from the UK to Ireland in order to benefit from the lower Ireland Corporation Tax (CT)rates and remove the liability from UK CT rates? ie does the adminstration of the company have to physically relocate to Ireland as well?

  15. James Green says:

    Hello there,

    Please forgive me if this is out of your remit or if it is already answered within your website, i looked but didnt see anything that resembled what i need to know.

    My father is currently abroad and wants to know whether he can apply for a tax rebate whilst he is overseas. This rebate is for paying emergency tax on earnings.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  16. desprate says:

    Hi ive been in d UK since 2007 and im planning to move abroad (EU) end of march 2012.I would like to find out what I will be entitled back from the taxes and N.I. obviously i wouldnt get an ammount figure but I want to know if i can claim for all the years ive been here or just this year.Also would it be a full or almost full refund considering I wouldnt be claiming for pension when i reach that age.i have been to tax office and i was given the relevant forms to claim when i leave but i was given no information what so ever about my question.hope you can help.thanks

  17. Tax Fix says:

    @David Robins

    No, you can’t normally receive a UK pension gross. Even if you’re non-resident, you’ll normally pay UK tax on your UK pensions – including your State Pension. You may not pay UK tax if the country you live in has a ‘double taxation’ agreement with the UK (Thailand does).

  18. David Robins says:

    Currently working and receive a pension from my previous company which is taxed and that is understandable. I plan to immigrate to Thailand within the next 2 years. The pension that I rceive, will I be able to receive this Gross without tax deductions and what forns do I need to complete?

  19. Kristov says:

    G’day, moved from UK to Australia in October 2009 and been told i can claim from when i worked that year. Can you pay refund into an Australian bank account? what are your charges?

  20. Daniel Scanlon says:

    How long does it take to process a claim & is the money paid directly into your bank account

  21. Martin Anselm says:

    Hi – If I decide to move overseas to take a job, can I claim the £8000 relocation allowance on my tax return?

  22. Anuradha says:


    I filed the tax return for 2010-11 and mentioned the the UK Bank Account number for the tax return deposit. Unfortunately after I returned, the UK Bank account got closed.
    Please suggest me what can I do.

  23. Kiggundu says:

    Hi I come here in 1991 stared work in 1993up to now am working i so can i claim all my taxes and my N I and also I’ve got some pension can i claim all that because i want to go back home now

  24. HELP says:

    I am starting a claim for my tax refunds over the past few years as I will be moving to australia next year. A previous company I had worked for will only issue a statement of earnings at a cost of £65. Is this right? also as I changed departments within this company, with the latter part i was made redundant and they are telling that i am unable to get a copy of statement of eranings as the department is no longer in trading. what do i need to do?!?!?!

  25. Raymen Boshoff says:

    Hi i never recieved anything from my previous employer and dont know what my tax status is. i have worked in the Uk i 1999. Can i find out if there is tax refunds any refunds available for me?

    Raymen Boshoff

  26. Peter says:

    Hi I moved a broad completed a P85 but still have to complete a self assessment form.. When i look at the tax form and in the change your self employment details section where I need to select the circumstances that apply to my self-employment: should I chack the box ‘My business is carried on abroad’? or should I tick none of these apply and continue?

    Thanks in advance

  27. Maria says:

    I am currently working abroad, i started part way through a tax year. If i choose to go back before i have completed a full tax year out the uk, do i have to pay back all the tax when returning?Thanks

  28. Paul Niemand says:

    Will I be charged if I do not recieve a rebate? I notice there is a minimum charge of £89.99. What is this for and when will this need to be payed?

  29. nilvita says:

    how can i get a statement confirming my tax returns since 2005

  30. Anonymous 08 says:

    hi i am self employed can i still get all my tax back on leaving the UK permanently?and how far back can i clam back.

    Anonymous 08

    • TaxFix says:

      Anonymous 08: If you are self employed you should normally complete a tax return where you would get any refund due.

  31. Monique says:

    I sent my documentation into HMRC in October 2010. How long does it usually take to receive a rebate and how do I go about following up with the HMRC in this regard

    Thank you

    • TaxFix says:

      Monique: Usually it takes between 4-8 weeks but the length of time depends on back logs with the Inland Revenue. You can call your local tax office to check up to see if they have received your application.

  32. Edi says:

    Can I scan and send the forms to you?

  33. Steph says:

    Hello, I am originally from abroad but now work in the UK. If I return home how much of my tax would I get paid back? And if I closed my bank account, would it be possible to have the money sent to my bank account abroad?

    • TaxFix says:

      Steph: If you leave the UK you can claim a tax rebate. The amount depends on how much you have earned and paid in tax during the tax year. You can use our tax rebate calculator for an estimate. We can send your rebate to your bank account in your home country, this is not a problem.

  34. Tracey says:

    I got a letter saying the HMRC had sent a cheque to my bank, a month later it hadn’t been processed by my bank, so I called and they cancelled and reissued. It has now been another month and still no money. Does anyone know if there is another way they can issue the cheque? (I’ve now left the UK but my account still operates) I don’t understand why they can’t process it via EFT

  35. Jabir says:

    I left the UK at the end of 2009, however a friend of mine is still living in the flat I lived in there and has informed me that a cheque arrived from HMRC to me for tax refund from 2008-2009. The problem is I no longer have a working account in the UK and as I am in south africa it is a bit dfficult to get there. MY mother does have an account though. Is there any way I can get HMRC to pay the money into my mother’s account? THanks

  36. Sanyi says:

    I worked in the UK between 2003-2005. I had got Tax refund based on it. Now, I have an opportunity to work in the UK again from 2011. Should I pay back anything from my tax refund?

  37. M. Langree Christophe says:


    I worked in London from november 2004 to september 2005 as executive head chef in London. I moved then to France and still work there. I would like to know if I can claim a tax refund for this period.

    Please let me know the procedure.

    Best regards.
    M. Langree Christophe.

    • TaxFix says:

      M. Langree Christophe: You can still claim a tax refund from when you were working in the UK. You should have been given your P45, do you have this? If not you can obtain a replacement by asking your previous employer for a statement of earnings. If you do you have your P45 you can claim your tax refund here.

  38. ladyme says:

    Hi, i am a caregiver in canada for 2 years and decided to go home to the pihilippines for good..can i still claim a tax rebate to the government? How? Please i am asking for your advise since i have no idea how to claim it..thanks!

  39. Yasmine says:

    My Boyfriend is serving in afghanistan for 6 months and i have been told that once he returned if he goes abroard for over 21days in this financial year he will be able to claimb his tax back is this true and how would he go about it?

  40. Donald says:

    Im employed paye by a company that works in the oil industry. Most of my work is overseas but I return to the uk and pay tax here. If I was to move overseas and only return for less than 90 days can I claim all by tax back..??

  41. Simon says:

    Hi i am getting married to a american lady at the end of the year beginning of next at which point i will be staying there for good can you shed any light on weather i can claim for just this ongoing tax year or can i claim further back i have been employed by the same employer for the last 6yrs any help greatly received…

    • TaxFix says:

      Simon: If you leave the UK you can claim a tax refund as you will have only worked for part of the tax year you will not received your full tax free allowance. You can claim for the previous 4 years too, but if you have worked without a break it is likely that you will have paid the correct amount of tax in those years. When you finish working you will be given a P45, when you have that you can claim your tax rebate here.

  42. Deepak says:

    I left UK in May 2009 permanantly and claimed refund of tax. I got letter from HMRC that they have send the refund cheque to my bank. The amount is not reflected in my account since march’10. I am following up with my bank and they are not able to trace the payment since last one month, though they are saying we are trying. HMRC is not ready to reissue the payment since they have not received any rejection of payment from Bank. Can someone suggest what could be done in this case.

  43. Anonymous says:

    hello i have been working in the uk since 2003 but i want to go and live in germany…i know i can claim the last 6 years but that means i will not be able to claim for 2003?im asking because i think the last date for tax claim for 2003 was jan 2010.but i was really sick for the last couple of months and i wasnt able to claim that u think they will make exception in this case?

  44. marcela says:

    hi, i have been working in the uk for the last 2 years, but i am going back to italy for good and want to claim my taxes back, how can i do it by myself?

    • TaxFix says:

      marcela: If you are leaving the UK you can claim a tax refund. When you stop working you will be given a P45 when you have this you can claim your tax refund by contacing your local tax office and completing a P91, P85,P86 and a covering letter.

  45. NA says:

    I am just wondering about tax refund
    I am a british citizen granted in May this year bur now I might move to another EEU country.
    In that case I would like to claim my tax refund.
    also some answers from you, you said it is possible to get all the years tax refund etc etc…I have lived here since 2002 and been working. so I might get for the last 8yrs then? Finally I also would like to know about NI rebate? I am not sure about this NI thing can you kindly explain?
    If I do this, It means that I am no longer eligible to receive any treatment for free from NHS ?
    I am moving to abroad to look for the job so….If I get injured or anything during the period, what happen?

    • TaxFix says:

      NA: If you leave the UK you can claim a tax rebate. When you finish working you will be given a P45, when you have this you can make a claim by applying here.

  46. Fernando says:

    hi there!!

    I have been in UK since Oct 2003 and since that time I have worked full time. I am moving back to my country and I would like to know if I can get the tax back from all the years that I’ve been working here.

  47. Confused says:

    My employer has just agreed a pay increase and backdated it to April 2009. They have paid it on this months salary a sum of £2100. If it had been paid last year it would have taken me only £240 over my taxable allowance as I get a tax free overseas living allowance of £288 a month as well as the usual £6475. SO i would have been taxed on the £240. Also as i have had an extra £2100 in this years wages already i will earn much more than my tax free allowance, this would not be the case if i had not had this payment for last year and would have only been a couple of hundred over. Is there anything i can do. Sounds stingy gripeing over a few hundred pounds, but the pay rise will be eaten in tax otherwise and we already earn peanuts 🙁 Thanks

  48. Anonymous says:

    my job came to and end in march/april 2008, I travelled a bit, then moved abroad(EU) in january 2009, I have not worked since, in may 2009 i got married to someone from that country. what is the situation? it’s now tax return time for the year 2009 here, running jan to dec (what tax year would it be for the UK?) Is there anything I need to know or do? Thanks

  49. Anonymous says:

    how long does it take to get a refund

    • TaxFix says:

      Refunds usually take between 6-8 weeks, but at the moment due to it being the end of the tax year and the Inland Revenue implementing new systems there are some back logs.

  50. Anonymous says:

    my parents left the country about14 years ago can they claim their tax back?

    • TaxFix says:

      Hi Anonymous,

      Sorry the deadline for claiming tax refunds is currently 6 years. If you wait longer then this your tax refund expires, sorry.

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