Now that the end of the tax year is nigh, many of your will be thinking about getting a tax refund as your P60 will be landing on your desk any time now, but one of the burning questions is: how long does it actually take from the beginning of the claim to that cheque flying through your letterbox?
What Are The Timescales?
This is one of the questions that people really want an answer for, but the problem is that there is no one answer. See, as much as HMRC are very sharp on their deadlines for repaying them if you’ve underpaid tax, on deadlines for your tax return and deadlines for when you should have reclaimed all of your backdated tax refund by, they’re very rarely anywhere near as specific on tax rebate timescales.
The honest answer, is that it usually takes around 4-8 weeks to get a tax refund from the date that you claim. This is so long as you have provided all required documents at the first stage. If not, the claim can take longer.
Does It Ever Take Longer?
If you don’t send all of the correct documents in the first instance, then yes, the claim can take longer. The required documents include a P45 of P60, depending on whether you’re working or not at the time of the claim, as well as additional documents if you are reclaiming tax before leaving the UK, for instance. The documents required will depend on the reason behind you claiming the tax back.
Another reason that a claim could be delayed is backlogs within HMRC. Each area of the country has its own tax office, and these individual tax offices are responsible for their own tax rebates. So of course, there may be delays at one, whereas in another they may be up to date with tax rebate claims.
Can Delays Be Avoided?
Yes, tax rebate claim delays can be avoided. And the simple way is by using a tax refund specialist who is used to dealing with HMRC. They will know exactly what documents you need to send depending on your circumstances, and so you will definitely save time and effort by using the services of someone who knows what they are doing.
Unfortunately, tax office delays due to backlogs can’t be avoided, but again by getting the correct forms and documents in first time you will get your cheque through the door quicker than if HMRC have to keep coming back to you to ask for additional information. So it’s far better to use a company to get your tax refund who know the system inside out and get it right first time.
What Else Do I Need?
Other than your P45 or P60, the only other documents that you might need are your claim form which is called a P50, and possibly a P85 or P86 if you are not normally a UK resident or if you are leaving the UK. You may also needs documents relating to any additional taxable benefits HMRC would need to process a tax rebate.