PAYE Tax Refund

If you’re a UK PAYE (Pay as You Earn) worker, which mean that the HMRC will deduct tax automatically from your earnings. Your employer or pension provider gives HMRC details of how much income you receive. Many workers in the UK actually overpay tax and need to file a UK tax return in order to claim a rebate. You may be due to claim UK tax back if:

  • You incurred work-related expenses
  • You didn’t work a full tax year
  • You were made redundant
  • your employer was using the wrong tax code

The HMRC uses the information they get from your employer or pension provider to work out at the end of each tax year whether or not you have paid the right amount of tax. If HMRC think you have not paid the right amount of tax, they send you a P800 tax calculation. This calculation will show you what tax HMRC think you should have paid.

You should always check your P800 tax calculation carefully, as HMRC may not have all the information they need to calculate your tax correctly, or they may have inaccurate information.

If you due a refund your P800 should tell you whether you can claim your refund online, or whether HMRC will send you a cheque. If you don’t claim your refund within 45 days HMRC will send you a check.

How do I claim a refund for the current tax year?

If you think you have overpaid tax through PAYE in the current tax year, you have to inform the HMRC before the end of the tax year and why you think you have paid too much.

You can claim online, using your personal tax account, however If you prefer to telephone HMRC, the helpline for individuals and employees can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Before you call the HMRC, you will need have the following details:

  • your full name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number;
  • your PAYE scheme reference number, it should be on your payslip, or you can ask your employer for it;
  • estimates of your earnings from each source for the current tax year.

Once your claim has been processed, the HMRC may you with a new tax code, meaning any refund will be added to your wages and the amount will generally be paid automatically through the payroll. You can get a PAYE refund or lower tax deductions in the future.


Please note that if the repayment is due towards the end of the tax year and you have already received your final pay for that year, you may have to claim a refund directly from HMRC or wait for the P800 process to happen.

If HMRC thought, you were due tax back previous years they have probably already sent it to you. But if not, it might be worth checking whether you are due anything back, particularly if you have discovered you have not claimed enough allowances or other tax reliefs in 2016/17 and the same applied to earlier years. Please note that you can claim for up to 4 year back which means that you can claim for the 2012/2013 tax year.

refund claims have time limits, so it is necessary to claim as fast as possible. The downside to this that you have not paid enough tax in previous years, HMRC collect it, so it better be sure that owe tax to the HMRC before you claim.

A tax year in the UK will start on April the fifth and end on the on the day of the following year, here are some important dates as well:

  • 6 April 2016:First day of the new tax year 2016/17
  • 5 April 2016:Deadline for claiming your PAYE tax refund for the 2011/12 tax year.
  • 31 May 2016:Copies of 2015/16 P60 documents issued to employees.
  • 6 July 2016:Copies of 2015/16 P11d documents issued to employees.
  • 6 July 2016:Last date for agreeing payment settlements agreements for 2015/16 if applicable.


If you want to claim for tax years that are ‘closed’ for repayment, there is a rule known as Extra-Statutory Concession B41 which can allow HMRC to repay tax for those earlier years.

This concession only applies in situations where HMRC or another government department, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, have made an error in your tax affairs and where there is no doubt about the facts of the case.