EACH year more than 395,000 people leave the UK, a figure that is increasing by over 24% a year according to the UK government’s Office of National statistics. 60% of these are temporary workers, many who are on working holiday visas.
When most people leave the UK they do not realise that if they have been working and paying tax, they can make a claim for a refund from the Inland Revenue.
Below we have compiled a number of common questions and answers regarding tax refunds if you are leaving the UK:
I am on a work travel visa in the UK and will be returning home to Australia soon. Can I claim a tax refund?
Yes. As you are leaving part way through the tax year you will not have received your full tax free allowance and could be eligible for a claim.
How much will my tax refund be?
It will vary depending on how much you have earned and also on how much you have paid in tax during the year. The tax year in the UK starts on the 6th April. If for example you left in July and only earned £6,000 between the start of the tax year and the date you left, you will be able to claim back all of your tax in that year.
For an estimate of your tax refund, you can use a tax calculator and input your total income and the total tax paid in each year.
When should I apply for my tax refund?
When you finish working in the UK you should be given a P45 from your employer. As long as you do not intend to work anymore in the UK you can claim your tax rebate as soon as you receive your P45.
Does it matter if I lost my P45 or was not given one?
If you do not have your P45 you can get a replacement to claim your tax rebate by asking your previous employer for a ‘statement of earnings’ on company headed paper. The Inland Revenue will accept this as a replacement for any P45 or P60.
How do I claim my tax refund?
You have two options. If you want to avoid the stress and bureaucracy of dealing with the Inland Revenue you can use a tax agency to claim your UK tax rebates. They will be able to work on your behalf and send any refund to your bank account back home.
Alternatively you can claim your refund yourself. If you are claiming on your own you will need all your P45/P60s as well as a number of other forms including a P85 and P86. You should also include a covering letter and a P91 — employment history form. You should then send these completed forms to your local tax office.
Information correct at the time of publication. The information here does not represent either general or specific financial advice. Always obtain independent advice about your own specific circumstances.