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Published on 17 March 2023

Claim 2018/19 tax refunds by 5 April


HMRC issue some tax refunds automatically. However, in other cases, you need to actively claim tax refunds. For example, those for the marriage allowance, those for job-related expenses that you paid for yourself, and those where too much tax was withheld at source on payment protection insurance (PPI) claims which are made up partly of interest income. For refunds relating to the 2018/19 tax year, you need to make your claim by 5 April 2023.

NEWS: Claim 2018/19 tax refunds by 5 April. Image of a clock ticking, money waiting behind the clock and a person using their laptop. To show time is running out to claim tax refunds.

The general rule is that a tax refund cannot be claimed more than 4 years after the end of the relevant tax year. For example: if you are claiming a refund for the 2018/19 tax year, which ended on 5 April 2019, you must make your claim by 5 April 2023.

Note that ‘by 5 April’ means HMRC need to receive your claim form by 5 April. Many claims can be submitted online, and you should try to save a copy of the submitted form and/or keep a note of any receipt HMRC’s system gives you. If you are posting a paper claim form, make sure you send it in good time to reach HMRC by 5 April. You might wish to ask the Post Office for proof of postage and keep this in case HMRC say they haven’t received your form.

When might I be due a tax refund?

It depends on the type of income you had in the tax year concerned and your wider circumstances. For further details of when you might be due a tax refund, as well as the process for claiming it, read our section on How do I claim tax back?

What if I miss the 5 April 2023 deadline?

Generally, HMRC will not accept a tax refund claim for years that are ‘closed’ to claims – that is, where more than four years have passed since the end of the tax year concerned.

However, there is a rule known as Extra-statutory Concession B41 which can allow HMRC to repay tax for those earlier years in very limited circumstances.

This concession only applies in situations where HMRC or another government department, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, have made an error in your tax affairs and where there is no doubt about the facts of the case.

In our experience, it is rare for HMRC to grant this concession, so you will need to set out clear evidence as to what the error was which resulted in you paying too much tax.

We have produced an example letter that you can use to write to HMRC regarding a B41 repayment.

Is there anything else I should know?

You may find the following hints and tips useful:

  • If you are struggling to complete the new format P87 form – the form you use to claim tax relief on employment expenses – see here for information on finding your PAYE reference number and also our recent news article, which sets out exactly what you need to do in seven easy steps.

  • Over the last few years, many people have been able to claim a tax refund for working from home, due to relaxations that were put in place during the Covid pandemic. If you are claiming working from home relief outside of the 2020/21 and 2021/22 tax years, you need to check the rules carefully – far fewer people will be eligible. Also note that prior to 5 April 2020, the weekly allowance was £4 not £6.

  • We understand that lots of claims for tax refunds on PPI interest income have to be reworked by HMRC, because the repayment claim (R40) forms are completed incorrectly or information is missing. Make sure you read our guidance, including an annotated example, on how to complete the form properly. This will help ensure your claim is accurate and complete, can get processed straight away and doesn’t fall at the final hurdle.

  • Once you have put your claim in, we cover how long it takes to get a tax refund from HMRC in our guidance. HMRC’s ‘where’s my reply’ tool is currently indicating a three week turnaround period for a P87 claim.

  • There are plenty of organisations which offer to make the tax refund claims for you, but they will usually take a fee from any repayment you get. It is important to read carefully what you are signing up to. Our page of guidance on tax refund companies tells you more.

And finally… watch out for scams!

As the tax year end approaches, there may be an increase in fraudulent activity – emails, text messages or other contacts from people you aren’t expecting. These might claim to be from HMRC and offer you a refund. Treat any such contact with extreme caution. We provide more information here and on our Protecting yourself online from phishing, malware and scams page.

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