If money’s tight after Christmas, you’re probably trying to keep hold of every penny you can. That’s why if you got a letter telling you that you were due a tax rebate, you might just jump for joy.
Of course, you’re not actually getting any money for free – you’re just getting money back you overpaid. But it’s still good to know that you’ve got some extra cash coming your way.
And if this happens, will you need to claim the money back yourself or will you get the tax rebate automatically? Let’s take a look at how you can get a tax rebate.
You need to apply
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will send you a P800 letter to tell you that you’re due a tax rebate – but they won’t give you the money automatically. Instead, you’ll need to claim it yourself. P800 letters can also tell you if you need to pay more tax so make sure you read yours carefully to see if this is the case.
If you’ve overpaid tax for several years, you can claim this all at once. But if you’ve overpaid tax in the current tax year, you’ll need to wait until the start of the new tax year before you can claim this – this starts in April.
You’ll only get a P800 letter after the tax year has ended and if you’re due a rebate, you’ll usually get this by September. Your P800 letter will tell you if you can claim online – and if you can, you can do this on the Government website. If you don’t claim your rebate within 45 days, HMRC will send you out a cheque and you’ll have to put this into your account to get the money.
If HMRC don’t send you a letter but you think you’re due a rebate, you can contact them. They might want to see evidence of the tax you paid – this includes your P60 for the end of the tax year, your P45 if you left your job and evidence of any benefits.
What if I stopped working?
One reason you might have overpaid income tax is if you left your job and you were out of work but not claiming benefits for at least four weeks. If this happens, you should be able to claim a tax refund during the same tax year. You’ll need to use form P50 if you want to do this.
You can fill in form P50 online to get your tax rebate and this means you won’t have to send in your P45. But if the information you put in is different, HMRC might ask you to post in parts 2 and 3 of your P45 with a paper version of form P50.
Just remember that HMRC will never email you to tell you about a tax refund. If you’ve had an email that mentions tax rebates, it could be a fake. Find out more about this in our council tax email scam blog.