Have you paid too much income tax?
If so, you could be eligible for a tax refund. Well publicised problems at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have seen thousands of people benefit from tax refunds over the last few months and there are lots of other reasons why you may have paid too much tax.
However, the question ‘will I get a tax refund in 2011?’ depends entirely on your own specific circumstances. Our guide looks at various common scenarios where you may have paid too much tax and explains how you can claim a tax refund if you think you’ve overpaid.
Why might you get a tax refund?
You get an income tax refund if you have paid too much tax. You normally receive the rebate by bank transfer, in your wages or via a cheque in the post, depending on your circumstances.
You may have paid too much income tax if:
- You only worked for part of the tax year
- You had more than one job at the same time
- Your employer used the wrong tax code or you had an emergency tax code for part of the tax year
- You made a mistake on your Self Assessment tax return
- Income you receive from other sources reduced and you didn’t let HMRC know
- You didn’t let HMRC know about any changes to your circumstances straight away – perhaps your work benefits changed or you were made redundant
- HMRC made a mistake when calculating your tax code or your tax bill
How to claim a tax refund
If you’re an employee, you can claim a tax refund in 2011 by telling HMRC why you think that you have paid too much tax. You may have to send some information to them to support your claim and, if you are due a tax refund, this will be included with your wages. This is normally done through your tax code being amended.
If you’re self employed, then you have normally got 12 months from the tax return deadline to correct your tax return. For example, any amendments for the tax year 2010/11 have to be made by 31 January 2013.
If you’re self employed and you think a tax refund is due you can tell HMRC how you’d like to receive it. If it is less than £10 or your tax payment is due shortly then you can have it deducted from the tax that is due on your next Self Assessment statement. If a tax payment is not due shortly you can have a repayment direct to your bank or building society account or you can request the tax refund to come by cheque.
Once you receive your tax refund, you may still think that the amount is wrong. In this situation you should get in touch with HMRC as quickly as possible to try and sort out any further mistake.