Have you overpaid tax on your savings income?
Tax is automatically taken off the interest on your savings and income from life annuities at 20%.
If you are on a low income, you may be able to get back some or all of the tax you've paid. To do this you need to fill in a claim form and we explain how to go about that in this section.
In most cases you will get back the tax you have overpaid as long as you claim on time. The time limits for claiming a refund are shown in the table below. If you do not make a claim within the time limit you will lose out on any refund that may be due.
Time limits for claiming back tax
Tax year 2009/10 (year ended 05 April 2010) - you must claim by 05 April 2014
Tax year 2010/11 (year ended 05 April 2011) - you must claim by 05 April 2015
Tax year 2011/12 (year ended 05 April 2012) - you must claim by 05 April 2016
Tax year 2012/13 (year ended 05 April 2009) - you must claim by 05 April 2017
Claiming your repayment
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have a special form for claiming repayments where you have overpaid tax on bank and building society interest or retirement annuities. It is called a R40.
If you have already filled in a form R40 in earlier years - you should receive one automatically each tax year. The form will show the HMRC office address to which you need to send in the completed R40.
If you have not filled in any repayment claims previously then you can get form R40 online or request a copy from HMRC. Find out more from the HMRC website. The form comes with guidance notes to help you. When it is complete, send it to Leicester tax office. It is helpful if you can include your National Insurance number on the form and in any accompanying letter.
You do not need to send certificates and bank statements with your claim but HMRC may ask to see them and, if they do, they will need to see the originals. You should keep this paperwork for at least 2 years from the end of the tax year for which the claim is made.
You may not get an interest certificate automatically, but you can ask the bank or building society to send you one. The bank or building society have to send you a certificate free of charge if you ask for one and they have not sent one out before. Do bear in mind that if you are asking for a duplicate, the bank or building society may make a charge so it is usually best to find out how much one will cost.
You should also keep dividend vouchers, as you will need to include the dividend and its associated 10% tax credit on the repayment claim.
According to the HMRC website repayment claims will be dealt with in around 15 days but the guidance notes to the form R40 say 28 days depending on the time of year. However between April and September following the end of the tax year there may be delays as this is the most popular time for sending in the forms.
You need not wait until the end of the tax year to make a claim, though you may have to make a provisional claim and a final claim if you cannot provide the exact figures if you claim before the tax year end.
You can find more information on form R40 and how it works using the link to the HMRC guide - Getting tax-free interest on savings or claiming tax back.
If you have overpaid tax on PAYE income (such as pensions) rather than savings income
If instead, you have a PAYE overpayment on your pension you should not complete form R40. Read our separate guidance on what to do if you have overpaid tax on wages or pensions.