Tax Refund for Foreign Workers

According to the Daily Telegraph, over 2 million foreigners are now working in the UK, which is a 75% increase in workers from abroad in the last six years. Our tax agent answers some of the most common questions on the subject. If you do not find an answer to your question, please send us an E-mail:

I am a foreign worker in the UK. Can I claim a tax refund?
If you are a foreigner working in the UK you will be able to make a claim for a tax refund. Everyone that is a resident and works in the UK has a tax free allowance (in the 2009/2010 tax year this was £6,475). Your tax free allowance is usually paid out proportionally throughout the year, so that you receive part of the allowance in each pay packet. If you enter or leave the UK part way through the year, you will not have received your entire tax free allowance and therefore you will be able to claim a tax refund.

Will I be able to claim all of the tax back that I paid?
This will depend on how much you have earned and how much you have paid in tax in the year. If you have earned less than your tax free allowance (£6475 in the 2009/2010 tax year), you can claim back any tax that was taken from your pay from HMRC. If you have earned more than your tax free 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 refund?
We have a tax refund calculator on our web site. You should be given a P45 or P60 from your employer. When you have this document, input the figures for tax and income into the calculator and press ‘calculate’. The calculator will then work out an estimate of your tax refund.

I was not given a P45/P60; can I still claim a tax refund?
Yes. All you need to do is write a letter to your employer’s payroll department asking for a ‘statement of earnings’. A statement of earnings is a sufficient replacement for a P45/P60 and can be used to claim a tax refund.

I was a foreign worker in the UK more then 2 years ago, is it still possible to claim?
Yes. If you worked in the UK anytime within the last 6 years, you are still eligible to make a claim. Try and find your P60/P45 and make a claim before it is too late.

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

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

You will need to find which tax office was dealing with your pay and tax and then send the above documents to them.

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. Soham says:


    I have started working in the UK since 1-June-2014 on tier-2 general VISA, I am on UK payroll.
    Am I eligible for tax rebate?
    Cheers, thanks.

  2. mr u w sesay says:

    I have been working for the past 6 years on a gross income of £20,000 a year what will be my tax rebate for these years


  3. Mohammed says:

    I left uk for good and claimed my tax from hm revenue by enclosing my p45. Now if I want to return back to the same country then is there any hurdle?

  4. Kees says:

    Hi, I am divorced, working in Belfast and paying a monthly amount for my 2 children who live in Holland with their mother, I travel over every other week to see them. Is there a tax refund for this type of situation?
    Kind regards,

  5. Lorena says:

    I want to come back to london but I clamed tax back…can I give back them and come back? if yes how??

  6. Ushi says:

    I have worked in the UK for 6 years and intend to return to Hungary in about 3 years from now, at that time will I be able to reclaim the tax I have paid here prior to returning to my homeland.

    • TaxFix says:

      Ushi: Usually you will just be due a tax rebate for the year in which you left the UK, not the other years. When you stop working you should be given a P45. When you have your P45, you can make your claim here.

  7. manish says:


    I worked in UK around 4 months in 2010 and then back to India.During period of 4 months total tax paid by me around £1600.I submitted my P85 and P45 to my employer in UK and they further sent it to HMRC. But till today I have not received any refund.

    In form P85 I have mentioned the correct UK account number and NI number.But i left blank UTR field as that time I have not received UTR number.

    I contacted my UK employer but they answered me to contact HMRC.

    Please advise me is there any chance to get the all tax refund as my work and stay was less than 6 months.
    Also please advise me how to process now if there is any chance to claim it back.


    • TaxFix says:

      manish: Have you tried calling HMRC? There could be a number of reasons why you haven’t got your refund. Maybe your employer did not send the forms off, or they did not process your application, or maybe they thought you were not due one. Once you establish this you can then decide what you should do.

  8. Atul says:

    Hi I came in UK on 20th March.. So how my Salary for 12 days of 2012-13 will be calculated. Is there any tax on it?

    • TaxFix says:

      Only if you earned above the tax free allowance which was £8449. So if you did pay any tax, it is likely you can claim it all back.

  9. diana farkas says:

    I do not have any of the documents reguired to claim a tax refund but I worked in the uk for 3 years and payed tax my employer went bust so I can not ask for any documents what should I do ps I am from hungary

  10. Chrissie says:

    I worked 8 yrs in the UK until Jan 2013.I decided to leave the UK. I successfully claimed tax refund however the circumstances has changed and I have to return for work. I have P45 however awaiting P60 from previous employer.
    Would this cause problem for ne when I return to the UK?
    Your expertise mon the matter will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • TaxFix says:

      Chrissie: If you return to the UK and work before the start of the new tax year (April 6th), you might have to pay extra tax.

  11. Lucas says:

    Hello there!
    I worked in the UK for the last 5 years and have left recently. Can I claim for all the years I have worked or only the last one (2011-2012)?

    • TaxFix says:

      Lucas: Usually the refund will be only for the year in which you leave the UK, though we can check for any overpayment in other years also.

  12. Roman says:

    Hi. I worked in UK more than 6 years, 2007-2013. I do not want receive a pension from UK. I would like to ask for tax refund for all years. I am going to work to Czech Republic. What I have to do, or what I have to ak for please?

    • TaxFix says:

      Roman: If you are leaving the country you can claim a tax refund. Usually the tax refund will only be for the year in which you are leaving the UK, it does not matter if you want to claim a pension or not. When you finish working you will be given a P45. When you have this you can make your claim.

  13. Sarah says:

    So if I worked in the UK from 2005-2006 its to late to claim now as its past the 6 years??

  14. Carolina says:

    Hi, i have been working as part time since 2007. Apart from the taxes and NI contributions, is there any tax refund for the money invested in education? ( post graduate and btec diplomas) Also, i have worked for different employers, do i need the P45 and P60 from each employer or just the current one?

    Many thanks,

  15. luis says:

    i work 6 years in uk,how much i can get from tax credit?

  16. Manzoor ahmed says:

    iam from pakistan. iwas working in japan TODA Area since 1988 to 1994 can i clam my tax refund?

  17. amanda says:

    I worked in the UK during 2009 but I didin’t claim any tax refund. I got back to my country in 2010 and now I just received a message from a friend that is still living in London saying that a got a letter explaining that I have money to receive from tax refund.
    How can do to receive it, once I am back to Brazil? Who can get in touch to help me?


  18. Nas says:


    I am moving to the UK as the spouse of a british citizen. Will I be required to pay taxes if I am working as a freelancer there? Note here that I need 3 years to receive citizenship, and am therefore not considered a UK resident (correct?)

  19. David Vilakazi says:

    I have worked in the UK for 10year will I be able to claim my tax.
    My wife has just reach her state pension age will she still be able to claim her tax as we intend going back to South Africa 3months to come.

  20. Rocio says:

    Are the taxes for the National Insurance also refundable??


  21. Bilal says:

    Hi…i worked in london and recently i left the london,,,after few days my friend got cheque of tax return,,which might be my company applied for my tax return on my behalf…now im not in london,,and i dont have bank account in london now…my friend receive the cheque on my name,,,im in pakistan now,,how is that possible for me to receive my tax return amoint,,??can i receive the amount of my tax return cheque in my pakistani bank account?? Or is there any possibility to transfer that cheque amount in my london friends bank account,,so my friend can transfer me later???is that possible???please help me with deatail answers,,,i would be very thankful to you,,,thanks

  22. Kesavan Rajaram says:

    Hello, I am foreigner worked in UK for 21 days in october 2008. I earned less than 200 pounds and My employer have not deducted any tax. I came to know recently that i am receiving letter from UK revenue department for not filing the tax return. Now the penalty is 410 pounds though there is no tax for me on my earnings. what should i do now?

  23. Moses says:

    I started working in the uk 15 years ago as a foreigner. 3 years later I became a uk citizen, can I make a claim for tax rebate for those years I was highly taxed as a foreigner?

  24. Mo says:


    I will be arriving in the UK next month on a 6mth project (exactly 183 days) and will be leaving the UK after that contract. How much Tax can i claim back? Is there a way i can calculate how much i will be paying and how much i can claim back?


  25. camilla says:

    I’m italian and I worked at the Burger King in UK on late summer 1996 and 1999…now I live in Italy and I still have some pay slips but not all of them…
    Is it possible for me to have back tax paid?…and how can I do it?
    Thank you very much! 🙂

  26. Mokondi says:


    I would like to know If I would decide to come back to work in the Uk, should I return to the HMRC the money they give me as tax refund?


  27. CESAR MS says:

    Good morning, I worked from 2007 to 2009 in Brigthon and London as well, then I returned to my native country, went to the revenue to p45 and p60 carry my my paylist additional, one year later send a letter to see what had past with my taxes, but so far I have not received any information or money. I can do in this case?

  28. Barbara says:

    I am a European foreigner, I have worked in Uk for about 2 years. In december I have left the country and last month I have claimed my tax refund with the p85.
    Is it possible for me to go back to work in Uk now?
    If not, how long should I wait?

    Thank you for your attention

  29. Danielle O Sullivan says:

    I worked in canada during the summer of last year but have since left the country i was on a working visa how do i claim tax back from when i was there im a full time student in ireland does this mean i get more tax back?

  30. Elena says:

    I have worked in the UK for the last 4 years. I am also studying at university in England, but currently doing my year abroad in Spain.
    Can I claim tax refund for those 4 years even though I will be returning back to England in July?
    Thank you for your help.

  31. Opoku Kwaku says:

    if you want to leave Uk for good what can you claim on your tax and pensions

  32. masood says:

    I am on work permits for 5 years. and paid tax. i am going back. due to finish work permit Visa.can i claim my tax and N.I .I HAVE PAID.

  33. Barbara says:


    I am currently working in the UK but plan to move back to Australia shortly. I am making state Pension contributions through my salary, but obviously won’t be living in the UK when I am at pension claiming age. I do have a private Pension fund that my employer contributes to. Is it possible to transfer the state pension which I have already paid out of my salary into my private fund when I leave?

  34. Sanjay says:

    If i worked in UK for 11 months and then return to my home country.while in UK I have paid tax on my earning. how much i can get as refund , as some one saying that if our duration is less then one year then all the tax deducted by Govt will be return .

  35. Deco says:

    I’ve worked in England since 2003, I’m now thinking about leaving permanently, can I get any IN or tax back for all the time I’ve worked?

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