Step 1 - Are you due a tax rebate?
You might be due a refund if you answer 'yes' to all of these questions:
- Were you dismissed or made redundant part way through the tax year? Tax years start on 6 April and end on the following 5 April.
- Were you employed and paying tax through PAYE (Pay As You Earn)?
- Are you still out of work?
How much you can get back will depend on:
- How much you earned since the tax year started
- How much tax you paid on those earnings and any other income
Step 2 – Check how much tax you’re owed
There’s a simple tax checker tool on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website. It should only take a few minutes to find out roughly how much money you can claim.
Before using the tax checker, you’ll need to hunt down some paperwork such as payslips and bank statements, but that's all explained on their website.
Step 3 – Claim your tax back
How you go about getting your refund will depend on:
- How long you’ve been unemployed
- Whether you’ve claimed any taxable benefits since losing your job
- Whether you found another job within four weeks of losing your old one
If you're claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or other taxable benefits
If you’ve claimed any taxable benefits since losing your job, the Benefit Office has to pay your refund. This is because the tax you’re paying on your benefits affects how much you owe overall. Taxable benefits include Jobseeker’s Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.
You’ll need to send the Benefit Office parts 2 and 3 of your P45 to claim your tax refund. Keep part 1A for your records.
They’ll work out your refund and pay it either after the end of the tax year or after you stop claiming taxable benefits, whichever comes first. Check which state benefits are taxable and which aren't on Gov.uk.
If you’re claiming Universal Credit, this is not a taxable benefit, so once you’ve been unemployed for four weeks you can claim your tax refund from HMRC - see below.
If you get a new job within four weeks
If you start a new job within four weeks of finishing your old one, your new employer will pay any tax refund you're owed. Just give them parts 2 and 3 of your P45, keeping part 1A for your records. You’ll get your refund with your pay.
Give parts 2 and 3 of your P45 to your new employer to claim your tax refund.
If you’ve been unemployed for at least four weeks
You can claim a tax refund by filling in form P50. Send this to HM Revenue & Customs with parts 2 and 3 of your P45.
Contact HMRC (0300 200 3300) before filling in the form and they will tell you what other information you need to provide.
Download form P50 from Gov.uk.
You should get your refund in the post within the tax year.
Tax on your redundancy money
If you're a Regular in the Armed Forces the compensation you receive when you are made redundant is tax free. You do not need to declare it on your tax return. But if it includes holiday pay or pay in lieu of notice, then you will have to pay tax on those elements, as you would on your normal pay.
Never assume your employer has got the calculations right. The tax deducted could be too much or too little and it’s up to you to notify HMRC.
Need more info?
Find out more about claiming a tax refund on Gov.uk.