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money back from tax man

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CiderMonkey | 18:43 Sat 06th Nov 2010 | Business & Finance
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My friend suggested contacting the tax people to see if they owe me anything as she recently got £700 back! I thought they automatically paid back any money owing at the end of each year? But my friend says you have to query.

She said that as you are taxed as if you will work the whole year, if you are out of work at any time, you would be owed money back. I was out of work for a few months a couple of years ago and also when I was on maternity leave I did not get mat benefit, so I reckon I should be owed dome money.

Not sure how it works so any advice would be appreciated
thanks

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Hi monkey!
Tax is not routinely refunded (under PAYE as opposed to self assessment), you have to ask for it - also, make sure you state you want to apply for the past 6 years as if you don't they might only look at the most recent tax year.
Most people do pay the right amount of PAYE, but it's worth checking if you've had a gap in employment or a period of reduced income.
But, a little word of warning! You may (by requesting a review of your tax affairs over previous years) find out that you receive a demand for underpaid tax, as well as tax owed back to you! Sometimes, these underpayments can go un-noticed by HMRC, some are written off without you knowing and can be brought back into payment! Any refund you're due may be reduced to pay back these underpayments.
I could offer more advice, but I'd need to know much more specifics of your previous employments, tax codes etc.
HTH x
Oops, forgot to say - you can either ring your local HMRC office (see the phone book or internet for tel no) or write to them (again, look at internet or HMRC web site). Just say you want your tax affairs reviewed for whichever year it is you think you may be due something back
Question Author
thanks for the answer!!
If you were employed at the end of the tax year (and had the right tax code) then the chances are you have paid the right tax, even if during the year you had a period off work. The system allows for this.

What it doesn't allow for is being unemployed at the end of the tax year - here you would need to claim
you can fill in a tax return on line and they'll pay up surprisingly quickly if they owe you anything, beware though, that works both ways!
Loose - you can only do a tax return online if you are eligible to do one in the first place (i.e are on self assessment (SA) for self-employment or have other more complex tax affairs) - most people aren't.
Also, you need your UTR (10 digit SA reference number) to do it and you won't have one unless you are registered with HMRC for SA.
anyone can request a Tax return. For most people it's not necessary but you can request one, they will then allocate a PW UID etc. You fill in only few of the many boxes and they calculate the tax/refund. I;'d done it several times in the past,
I doubt it would be an SA tax return - probably just an R40 - a form on which you declare your income for the year to claim a refund. HMRC are very reluctant to put you on SA unless there is a good reason for it - it makes life a lot harder for them! lol
It could be that your friend had a refund under the current arrangement, where the tax office are telling some people that they owe back money, but others have overpaid and are getting refunds.
Do as others suggest and contact your tax office a.s.a.p., since you are not talking about the current year you will need to provide them with dates and figures - if you have your P60s/P45 from employment that will help.
Sorry halifaxmum and loosehead, you obviously know your tax stuff but you have lost me with your abbreviations!
Sorry box, us ex-revenue staff do tend to do that, sad arses we are! lol
My daughter got £300 back which seems to be the bog standard refund.Howver as she has worked mainly agency work with intermittent JSA for a couple of weeks until she could get another job she has been on perma emergency for years.
She phoned them and they asked for her to detail it so think at long last she may get a kosher tax code!
So I would get in touch because as far as im aware this only backdates to April this year.
's Ok Halifaxmum, I'm in the NHS and we do it all the time...!
Question Author
Thank you all for your answers. I'm a bit worried now about contacting them in case I owe them!! I really don't think I ought to, cos I seem to pay soooo much!! And have been paying at least something almost always since I was 16 (am 33 now) and have always had part time work constantly since then until after uni when I went full time (apart from 2 small breaks..)
cider, if you want and if you're prepared to, you can send me details and I'll have a look for you - I'd need all your P45/P60s for the past 6 years, as well as a detailed employment/unemployment history...?

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