I’ve overpaid tax, how can I get it back?
If you have overpaid tax it’s understandable to want to claim this back as soon as possible. In order to do so, you will need to lodge the details of all your income and reliefs to HMRC.
When can I do this?
Those who are registered for self-assessment will have to wait until their tax return is submitted, whereas those not registered will have to wait for HMRC to collect the necessary information from their employers.
If you are registered for self-assessment then, in theory, the earliest point at which you can submit your tax return is 6th April of each year. This is the first day of the new tax year and thus, for the tax year up to 5th April 2019, you could technically submit your return on the 6th April 2019 for that year. Although possible, this is almost never done.
How long do I have to wait?
Provided that you have indeed overpaid tax and subsequently submitted your tax return, you can expect to receive your refund somewhere around 3 to 4 weeks later. This is always open to change however and is not a fixed timeline. Often it can take up to 12 weeks even to process the application! To maximise the efficiency of your request, it’s a good idea to ensure your bank details are included with your submission so that any refund can be paid directly into your bank account.
What if I can’t submit a return?
If no return is submitted then you have to wait for HMRC to gather the relevant information from numerous sources, including your employer, pension provider etc. As a general rule of thumb, a quick turnaround would be towards the end of May/early June but you may realistically need to wait longer. Again, there is no fixed schedule.