What is a tax refund?
You are entitled to tax refunds from HMRC if you have paid too much tax in a financial year. Tax refunds can happen automatically, for example, if you are employed and under the current Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system your employer automatically deducts your tax. You are taxed on your salary, but if your salary goes down, or you find yourself out of work, HMRC knows that you will be owed a tax refund and will automatically send it to you.
Am I due a tax refund?
A lot of UK workers, whether employed by a company or self-employed do not know that they may be due tax refunds. They do not realise they could be making a tax-back claim on travel expenses and costs if they are not paid for by their employer. The HM Revenue and Customs do not always get the sum right because they do not always have all the relevant information needed. It may be because you have work expenses that they do not know about, such as fuel expenses, overnight stays, or course fees. Self-employed workers who use the self-assessment tax return system can also end up paying too much tax. Builders for example, who are using the CIS (construction industry scheme) can lose a lot of income before they even pay themselves, meaning they are not getting the full benefit of their tax-free personal allowance so they too could be owed a tax refund.
What can I claim a tax refund on?
If you have used your own money to cover work costs and expenses and your employer does not cover them, you can claim a refund on:
• Mileage costs and travelling expenses
• Rail tickets
• Overnight accommodation stays and food (in certain circumstances)
• Professional fees and subscriptions
• Uniform costs (if required to wear one)
• Laundry and maintenance costs
• Tools, equipment, and materials
• Expenses incurred while attending training & course
• Other subsistence expenses
What information do I need to make a tax refund claim?
You can backdate your expenses claim up to the last four years. To start a tax refund claim you will need the following information:
• Photo ID (driving license and passport)
• Proof of address (bank statement, utility bill, or tax bill)
• Payslips from your employer or contractor
• MOT certificates (if you have been using your own transport)
• Receipts (fuel, food, tolls, fees & anything else work-related)
• A list of workplaces you have travelled to
• A list of workplace dates
If you can give as much information as possible including the places, dates, and times plus any receipts of things that you have purchased for work purposes can help maximise your claim.
What Can I Claim Tax Back On?
You can claim tax back on most work-related expenses. Below is a list of items that you can get tax refunds on:
• Vehicles for work use
• Fuel/Mileage costs
• Travel expenses
• Overnight expenses (food in certain circumstances)
• Rail Tickets (single & season tickets)
• Uniforms, work clothing and tools
• Cleaning costs for uniforms
• Professional fees, subscriptions & unions fees
This list is an example of what you could claim back; there may be expenses & items specific to the job role that you could claim back.
What are the Deadlines?
- Current legislation in the UK says you can go back up to four Tax years when claiming a Tax rebate. This means at the current moment in time you can make a claim for the following periods:
- Year ended 5th April 2020
- Year ended 5th April 2021
- Year ended 5th April 2022
- Year ended 5th April 2023
Effectively this means you can claim Tax relief from 6th April 2019.
Over such a long period of time wage slips and p60s can be lost or misplaced. This isn’t a problem as you have lots of ways to obtain this information.
- Contact your current/previous employers as they are legally obliged to keep your records going back 6 years and because of GDPR if your request that information they have to provide it to you.
- You could log into your government gateway which is easy to set up if you have never done this.
- Contact HMRC on 0300 200 3300 and request that they post out to you a tax history letter which usually arrives in 10 working days from when you request it from them and this tax history letter will go back 4 years.
How long does a tax refund take?
How long Tax takes to come back depends on two things:
- How fast you can get the required information to ourselves
- How busy HMRC are, which depends a lot on what time of the year it is
The sooner you start a claim process, the better as it can tax 8-12 weeks for HMRC to process a tax refund.
As deadlines apply for making claims, we advise you get in touch as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Am I Due Any Tax Back?
Most workers, whether employed or self-employed may be due a tax rebate for work-related items, expenses or because they have paid too much tax. HMRC do not know everyone’s individual circumstances, and it is up to the taxpayer to contact HMRC to see if they are entitled to any tax relief.
Other reasons for a tax refund may include pension payments, redundancy payments, interest from a savings account, PPI, or UK income if you are living aboard.
All claims for tax refunds and rebates are reviewed on a case by case basis. Use our tax claim form and answer a few simple questions to see if you could be entitled to make a claim.
Stay Informed Subscribe
Keep up to date with all the latest news and changes to make sure that you don’t miss out on future rebates and tax savings