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. kalip says:

    i was given P45 and P60 by my previous employer, but unfortunately i donot have any with myself.
    i have been working with different employers since 2005, is there anyway i can get a copy of my p45/p60?please advise.

  2. Pippo83 says:

    I worked in 2011 for 8 mounths and I lift Uk in december 2011. When I came back to my country I didn’t claim any tax refund. Now I’m going to move again in Uk. What if I come back to Uk? will I have the taxes back from last year? and if I claim the tax back from the last year can I come back to Uk again and what happen to my new tax code? will I pay more?
    many thanks

  3. Farah says:

    I have worked in UK and have claim the tax using P85 and it was successful. Can I still claim the tax from the previous year? And what about the NI, can I also claim a rebate? Appreciate your assistance.

  4. siga says:

    Hello, I have been working in UK in 2010 summer. After that i refund all tax and came back in my country. So, I have a question. I did not get any information about my tax, money did not come also. so may I come back and work in UK? I do not know now any information about agancy, which made all documents. Could you help me and tell me how is my situacion, please.

  5. Michelle says:


    I am a foreigner who recently worked in London on a temporary work visa (Tier 5), that is valid for 1 year. However I only stayed in the UK for 2 months.

    I travel internationally for work doing a few months contract in each place,I have now left the UK and would like to know if I would be able to claim back the tax paid on the money I made during my 2 months there, as my earnings after tax and other deductions was not more than 2500 pounds…

    I would really appreciate any advice on the procedures I should follow to do so.

    Kind Regards

  6. Brendan says:


    I left the uk a couple of yrs back and am looking into lodging a tax return. As i was moving to Canada before coming home I didn’t have a lot of bag space and have misplaced all paper work I had. So now all I have is my ni number. Is there any way for me to apply for a tax return? I was on a 2 yr whp.


  7. harry says:

    hi i am foreign student working in uk for 2 years?
    do i get my tax refund?? i am planning to leave this
    country.can you tell me the process please.

  8. Alves de Sousa, Joaquim Manuel says:

    Worked at La Baita Restaurant, near belsize park underground station by the year 1984. Short period of time. few 5 months. Now work in a state school in Portugal.I wonder if I still had the right to have my tax back. I no longer remember my national insurance number nor even other numbers. Last house i lived at: 71, ridgeview road by totteridge, close to the northern line underground station

    Would you mind giving Any answer to this question to the e mail

  9. Sue says:

    I hold an aussie passport with a right of abode stamp to work in the uk. I have been paying national insurance contributions here since I arrived in 1996 and it’s likely I will be going back to oz in the near future.
    Is it possible for me to claim part british state pension at retirement age if I have paid tax but am not british? Is it worth my while?

  10. Henry says:

    I worked in UK for the last 6 years, now I’m going back home. I was paid over 12k each year. Question – can I return ALL the money that I paid in taxes in this country, every penny of it?

  11. Selma says:

    How to get UTR number

  12. Jason W says:

    Hi i lived in uk for seven years from 1997 to 2004 what happens to my ni contributions can i claim these back as i will not be claiming the he old age pension. if so do you have a link to claim all ni contributions back. Thank you

  13. pen yan says:

    i work in uk for nearly 5 years now my visa almost ran out i dont want to stay with this employment and want to leave the country can i claim my tax back and what i need to do ?

  14. ola says:

    Can you please let me know where I can get these forms—————A P91 ,P85/P86 forms

  15. Yan zhou says:

    i have a PSW for visa,and want working two years,after that i will contiue for master in UK. if like this could i get the tax refund?

  16. judy says:

    if i working two years and now i want to study for master, could i get tax refund?

  17. Jennifer Johnsey says:

    My daughter in law is returning to Thailand permanently after working here for about 7yrs.
    Can she claim a tax rebate and National Insurance for all the time she worked in the UK?

  18. Kuttappan says:


    I was in UK for two months and earned less than £6000 and paid around £800 as tax & currently in India. Could you please clarify below doubts?
    1. I have only a soft copy of my P45, can I take a print and send to tax dpt? Or do I need an original one?
    2. P95, 86 and 85 are filled before I left UK but now my communication address has been changed. How could I update this?
    3. What is the contact address to get a response? I ve sent a mail but no response.

    Sijimon James

  19. billy says:


    i am a south african citizen living in south africa and has applied for finance in the UK.

    Before this payout can happen i need a UK tax code. Is this possible, and if it is, what do i do to apply for this code.

  20. Martin says:

    Hi there,

    I have been working in the UK since July 2005 to September 2006. Is it still possible to get tax refund ?

    Thanks a lot.

  21. singh says:

    i am working in israel. am i eligible for income tax refund?

  22. karim nower says:


    I have a settlement visa and have been working full time since Dec 2010. I was getting taxed around roughly 11% until my last pay slip this April where I seem to be getting taxed the full amount of 22%.

    Can you tell me as a foreigner living here with my British wife and child and working full time with a settlement visa – should I be paying 22% tax or was the 11% the correct amount?

    Also will they try and claim tax back from me when I was paying at 11%?

    Many thanks in advance,


  23. Rugile says:


    I am self employed here in uk for 8 years now. I had never had problems with tax return before. This year it’s a nightmare. I filled in online tax return form 10/04/10. Later in may I was inform that my refund was sent into may account, however has never apeared there. I called them few times and was told that they don’t know anything. I also sent them an online message…and nothing, total ignoration. Later I tried to log in into my online application but my password and user name were no longer valid somehow. Tried to call them once more and they couldn’t even find me in their system at all. In January I filled all documents once more. This time normal paper application. I have also added explanation and all the prewievs leters. I still am totally ignored. What would you suggest me to do?wait?

  24. Jay says:

    I worked in UK from Sep 2003 to Jan 2010. I left UK for good in 2010. Can I claim all the tax paid during this period. And National Insurance as well.

    • TaxFix says:

      Jay: It depends on how much you earned. Normally it’s not all of the tax but usually you can claim a substational refund. When you stop working you are given a P45, if you have this you can make your claim here.

  25. Jay says:

    I had been International student worked in UK since 2003. I never claimed any tax in this period(Sep 2003-Jan 2010. Can I claim all the tax paid during this period?

  26. Roy Craney says:

    I am a Australian citizen , howvere I have previously lived and worked in the UK.

    Is it possible to still make a claim on taxes paid.

    I lived and worked in UK from mid 1983 to 1986 for the one employer.

  27. Misha says:

    Hi there,
    I tried to find out how much my tax return would be via the tax refund calculator and it showed me £0 for 2 tax years. How is this possible?

  28. Johan says:

    I am a student at UK, and I have a plan to buy a device in uk. can i claim for tax refund, because i am not british.

    • TaxFix says:

      Johan: How much will you earn? If you earn under the tax free allowance you can claim back all of your tax. Also when you leave the UK you will be able to make a claim.

  29. Arzu Uysal says:

    Dear sır or Madam,
    I have claımed for the tax return over 2 moths ago altought I have been told that tax return money would be ın my account ın 10 days nonetheless I have not receıved any money yet.
    I wrote a letter to have some ınformatıon about what ıs happen nobody has not replıed to me.
    I don t know what to do ın this case please tell me what to do.
    Thank you

    • TaxFix says:

      Arzu Uysal: You can call your local tax office that said you would be due a tax rebate, there should be a number on the letter they sent you. Sometimes rebates undergo extra security checks or there can be backlogs which cause delays.

  30. dave says:

    if you work in uk and still live in uk would you get the tax refund being working for 8 years thanks

  31. Minsun Song says:

    I’m studying English in UK and my visa is a student visa. I’m wondering whether I can get tax refund when I leave.

  32. Sandra says:

    I worked in the UK from Oct 1st 2006 to May 31st 2007 as a language assistant teacher. Because I still had a student status (sent by my university) I was eligible for tax refund. I had to pay some tax for my first month or two and supposed to get the money back at the end of my time in the UK.

    I filled out the forms needed when I left but never got the money back for the amount I paid at the begining of the year as I had closed my UK account. I remember writing and asking for a cheque, but it never came.

    I am now back in the UK and will be starting a new job soon. I have two questions:

    1- is it still possible to claim that money back?or should I wait til things are sorted with my new employer? I have not signed a contract yet.

    2- will I need a new NI number? I was given one at the time and have not used it for about 3 years

    Sorry for the lenghty questions. Thanks for reply and/or any help you could give me.


    • TaxFix says:

      Sandra: Your NI number can still be used. The deadline for making a claim is 4 years, so we suggest that you apply as soon as possible for your refund to be reissued.

  33. Jo says:

    In the list of forms that you stated one needs to have when claiming tax refunds, can you please tell me what covering letter is it that is needed?

    Is it from my employer or is it one which is written by myself?

    Thanks a lot.

  34. Angeli says:

    Hi there, I am a student working here but due to go home this December 2010 as my course will be completed already. Do I have to wait until after April 2011 before I claim my tax refund when i’ll be in my country already. Could it not affect my PSW Visa application in the future if i claim my tax rebate. Thanks and more power.

    • TaxFix says:

      Angeli: If you have worked in the UK and are going to leave you are entitled to claim a tax rebate. When you stop working you should be given a P45 by your employer. When you have your P45 you can apply for your tax rebate here.

  35. Ram Prabhu says:

    I am from india and woking in UK from July 2010 and my assignment is maximum for 6 months. From our company they have deducted tax code as 65L. I have filled P46 form while i was joining here. The tax is not being deducted in fixed percentage in the last two months. If i am going to leave in november 2010 (5 months) will i be elgible for claim the total tax deducted? or any minumum tax needs to be paid?

    • TaxFix says:

      Ram Prabhu: If you are leaving the UK you can claim a tax rebate. When you stop working you should be given a P45 by your employer. When you have your P45 you can apply for your tax rebate here.

  36. Andrea says:

    I’ve been working for 4 months in the UK. Although I haven’t got any national insurance number, can I claim part of my tax back that I paid?

    • TaxFix says:

      Andrea: To work in the UK you need a national insurance number. In order to claim a tax refund you will need your national insurance number. If you do not have one you can go the local job centre and apply for one.

  37. Ian says:

    So, based on what Peter said:
    There is no difference between being a foreigner and being British in terms of claiming tax rebates. Is that correct?

    Also, if my employer uses the correct tax code, there will be a few changes to get any tax rebate. Is that right? The changes to get tax rebates is if one is paying tax based a wrong tax code and if one stops working part way through a tax year.

    Could you please kindly confirm the above?

    Many thanks

    • TaxFix says:

      Ian: That is correct. Foreign workers are more likely to return to their home country and therefore stop working part way through the tax year and hence be due a refund. Your eligibility for a tax refund boils down to how much you have earned in the tax year and how much you have paid in tax. Usually if you work a full tax year and are on the correct tax code it is less likely that you will be due a tax refund.

  38. Peter says:

    I would like to ask you a few short questions.
    1.- I have been working in the UK since August 2007. Now, I’m starting a full time graduate program. Can I claim a tax rebate for every single year I have been in the UK (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010)? 1.- 2.- Does it matter the country I am from? Is it the same being from a EU country as being from Luxembourg or for instance Japan?
    3.- In case I would decide to go back to my coutnry, why does Inland Revenue need to know which country I’m going?
    4.- I know how to get the P60, P45 and P85. However, where can I get the documents P91 and P86 from? I guess you also need these documents.
    5.- Can I only claim a tax rebate/refund if I’m about to leave or I have left the UK?
    Many thanks

    • TaxFix says:

      Peter: In answer to your questions. Yes you can apply for a tax rebate for all those years, the amount will depend on how much you have earned and how much tax you have paid in each. It does not matter what country you are from, you can still make a claim. If you are claiming a tax refund with us, we can complete your P91 and P86 for you, all you need to do is apply here once you have your P45/P60. You can make a claim even if you are not leaving the country.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I am a foreigner planning to leave the country for good. can i have all my tax contributions from the day I started working here up to present? how about my insurance? thank you.

    • TaxFix says:

      Anonymous: If you are a foreigner leaving the country you can claim a tax rebate. The amount of your tax rebate will depend on how much you have earned and how much you have paid in tax during each of the tax years that you have been in the UK. When you have finished working in the UK your employer should provide you with a P45. When you have your P45, you can claim your tax rebate here.

  40. Rose says:

    I am working in the Uk since 2005 as a work permit holder, ii have been granted my settlement visa since last June 2010. I would like to enquire if I can claim for a tax rebate?do inland revenue gave different tax codes for foreigners and UK reisdents? please help me, im waiting for your reply. thanks

  41. Anonymous says:

    I am a foreigner and I’m working last 3 years, can I get refund both tax and NI contribution. Also let me know please still working this country.

    • TaxFix says:

      Anonymous: Yes, if you overpaid tax you can claim a tax rebate by applying here. We do offer a NI rebate service through our parnter where you can reclaim a portion of your national insurance contributions, you can read more about this and apply here.

  42. joe says:

    hi, im a student here in the uk and working at same time as part of my nvq’s, can i still make a refund of my NI when i will be living the UK this coming September? thanks

    • TaxFix says:

      joe: If you are living and working in the UK you can claim back a portion of your National Insurance into a private pension, this is known as contracting out of the state pension. If you leave the UK you can also claim a tax rebate. When you finish working you will be given a P45 when you have this you can claim your tax rebate here.

  43. CJ says:


    I have been working in the UK for the last 13 years and will be leaving at the end of the year. Can you tell me how this works, will need to submit all my p45’s etc for the last 6 years and how do you work out how much I can get back?

    Thanks very much!

    Kind regards,


  44. Tina says:


    I have been working in the UK since 2005 first as a full time employee and then from Sep 2009 as self employed. Would I be eligible to claiming anything? I don’t know if it makes any difference to my status but I have also bought a house here.

    Thanks Tina

  45. Romain says:


    I will leave the UK in few weeks and claim my tax. Will I be able to come back for work in the UK after that? How long?

  46. Nick says:


    I left the UK in 2007 and applied for a tax refund through the company I worked for. Nothing ever came of it and I want to pursue this again. I only have copies of my statement of earnings, what else do I need to start this process? I am also not sure which office or area to submit my application to.

  47. Jamal says:

    Hello, I am about to submit a tax refund application with Tax Fix,within the next 2 weeks. How long will it take for to be concluded from submitting the application to receiveing the refund?

    • TaxFix says:

      Jamal: Refunds usually take between 4-8 weeks once we have all your documentation. There is no set time, as it depends on the Inland Revenue issuing the refund, and each tax office has different back logs. I am sorry we can not be any more precise.

  48. K V Thorat says:

    Hi there,

    I worked last year in a company and I have got p60 form from them when I was on student VISA but I don’t know what should I have to do to get the TAX back and what’s the procedure. I am working now in a lab which is my second job in Uk since 6 months and I am having PSW VISA now. Will you please guide me to get the both the tax claims?

  49. Marin says:

    I am a foreign worker in the uk.I have been working here for 8 years.I will leave the uk in september and I want to know if I can get all the tax and NI contributions i paid during my work here.

    • TaxFix says:

      Marin: If you are leaving the UK you are entitled to claim a tax refund. The furtherest back you can claim a tax refund is 6 years. The amount of your refund will depend on how much you have earned in each tax year and how much you have paid in tax. When you stop working you will be given a P45, when you have this you can make your claim by going here. We do offer a NI rebate service, however this can only be claimed if you are living and working in the UK.

  50. Andre says:


    Iwork in Uk from 2000, and i still working, can i claim my tax refund keep working?

Leave a Reply