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How long does it take to get a tax refund from HMRC?

How long does it take to get a tax refund from HMRC?
How long does it take to get a tax rebate? Tax refunds in the UK can take up to 12 weeks to be processed by HMRC with a further 5 days to 5 weeks added to receive your money.

There are a number of reasons why you may be owed a tax refund, or tax rebate, from HMRC. If you are employed and pay tax through PAYE, this may have been calculated incorrectly, or your self assessment tax return may have included errors meaning that you overpaid your tax. If this is the case and you are owed a repayment from HMRC then you will no doubt be wondering how long does a tax rebate take?

Tax refund processing times

The answer to how long a tax refund takes in the UK is actually quite difficult to answer precisely, as the main delay between applying for your tax refund and receiving the money depends on HMRC’s current processing times. In most cases a tax rebate will be issued within 8-12 weeks of receiving your application, but this can be both longer and shorter.

Can you speed up a tax rebate?

Although you are somewhat in the hands of HMRC, there are few things that you can do to get your HMRC repayment issued faster:

  • Ensure that you have all of the relevant information and paperwork gathered so that HMRC do not have to come back to you to get all of the information that they need.
  • Avoid submitting your tax rebate application around HMRC’s busiest periods, such as the self assessment deadline at the end of January and the tax credit renewals deadline at the end of July.
  • Smaller amounts such as those under £1,000 will normally be processed relatively quickly, but larger amounts may require extra levels of checking, which can cause a longer delay.

Track my tax refund

To find out more information about how long it takes to get a tax refund it may be possible to contact HMRC to find out how long it will take to receive your tax rebate. However it generally isn’t worth contacting them before 5 weeks if you have submitted your application online, or 6 weeks if you have submitted a paper rebate request.

How long does a tax rebate take to be paid?

Once your tax refund has been authorised, the length of time it takes for your HMRC repayment to be issued is normally relatively short, although exactly how long your tax rebate takes depends on how you are going to be paid:

  • If you are being paid directly into your bank account or onto your credit or debit card this will usually be received within 5 working days.
  • If you are expecting a cheque or ‘payable order’ you should receive this within 5 weeks.
  • If you have received a P800 notice telling you that you are due a tax refund and that you can claim this online, then you will receive the money directly into your bank account within 5 working days of the claim being made. However if you do not claim online within 45 days, then you will receive a cheque within 60 days of the date on the P800.
  • If you have received a P800 notice telling you that you will receive a cheque then this will arrive within 14 days of the date on the notice.

If you believe that you are owed a tax rebate, and especially if you claim is relatively complex, then we would recommend engaging the services of an accountant or specialist tax advisor to assist you in compiling your rebate request. As we have already stated wanting to know how long does a tax rebate tax is natural, but your case will be significantly expedited if your claim is fully complete and thus easier for HMRC to process.

Handpicked Accountants can connect you with a number of the very best accountants and tax advisors in your area. Contact us to find your perfect accountant today.

David Tattersall

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0800 063 9258

Hi there - I'm David from Handpicked Accountants. If you need help finding the right accountant, simply give me a call. My expertise is in connecting business owners with the very best professional services and I'm on hand to assist you today.


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