Tax. Everyone working in the UK pays it yet if you were a foreign worker it can be stressful claiming your tax refund. You may be in the estimated 90% of foreign workers in the UK who have overpaid their tax to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This is partly due to how tax codes are assigned so if you can make sure that’s sorted prior to your leaving chances are you should be eligible for a rebate. If you have lived and worked previously in the UK, here’s how you can file your UK tax refund online.
What do I need to file a UK tax refund?
Firstly, you have to tell HMRC that you’re leaving the UK so you can complete the P85 form which is available from HMRC’s website. This form will also help determine your status in the UK and whether you were a resident or non-resident which can free you from even more tax returns. To fill in that form you’ll need your P45 which details your pay while in the UK and the tax that’s already been deducted.
How do I file it?
Once you’ve completed your P85 and sections 2 and 3 of your P45 to provide details of your employment you can send that off to HMRC. These should be filed whilst you are still in the UK just in case HMRC need any further information and it is advisable to make copies of these documents. If you need help in completing the forms then reputable tax agents such as Taxback.co.uk can assist you. They can also file the forms on your behalf, collect the funds and pay you back if you have already returned to your home country.
How far back can I claim?
Up to four years and the tax year runs from April 5th to April 4th. Even if you leave part-way through the tax year you are entitled to a UK tax refund.
How do I get paid back?
The money from your UK tax refund will be paid to a UK bank account so if you have opened one keep it open. However, if you have closed your UK bank accounts then you can arrange for a friend or family member to have your refund paid to their bank. HMRC can also issue you with a cheque though you may want to check with your bank whether you will be able to cash it.
What if I was self-employed?
You would still need to complete the P85 form though without a P45 you would need to continue filing a Self Assessment tax return within a certain period even after returning home. That period would depend on when you finished employment or running a business in the last four tax years.
Don’t be late or you may be fined
Ensure that you inform HMRC or your local tax office that you have already left the country so you are removed from the system. If you don’t, you will incur fines for not filing your self-assessment on time though if you do go with a UK tax agent they would be able to do this for you.
Claiming your UK tax refund after you have left the UK should not be taxing. Whether you were employed or self-employed, ensure you tell HMRC you are leaving the UK and get your forms filed before you leave should make it easier. If you still need help with your application then get in touch with a reputable tax agent who will work on your tax refund on your behalf.