How do I claim any tax back?

Updated on 13 November 2017

This section looks at what to do if you have paid too much tax on your pension income and what the time limits are for making a claim.

Together with a P800 tax calculation, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may send you a tax repayment automatically after the end of the tax year. It is important that you check the repayment is correct, but you might not need to claim a refund of tax.

How do I claim a refund for the current tax year?

If you receive employment income or pension income and pay tax through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system you may sometimes pay too much tax. There are various reasons for this. One particular reason as a pensioner is the use of an emergency tax code if you take money flexibly out of your pension – see our separate guidance on flexible pensions.

There is more information on what to do if you think you have overpaid tax through PAYE in the current tax year in the 'tax basics section'.

This includes detail on the information you need to gather together before contacting HMRC and what records you should keep.

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How do I claim a refund after the end of the tax year and for previous tax years?

If you have paid too much tax through your pension and the end of the tax year in which you overpaid tax has already passed you can make a claim for a refund by contacting HMRC.

There is more information on how to do this in the ‘tax basics section’.

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How do I claim back overpaid tax on purchased life annuity income?

We explain purchased life annuities in the page 'how is my tax collected?

Each year you will receive a statement showing the total sum paid to you, that is, the capital amount (non taxable), the income amount (taxable) and the tax deducted.

If your total taxable income is less than your personal allowance, you can ask to receive your purchased life annuity income free of tax.

A claim can be made by completing form R89 – Application to receive an annuity without tax taken off, available on the GOV.UK website.

To make a claim for a refund of tax overpaid on a purchased life annuity, you should follow the guidance in the 'tax basics section' on how to claim tax back on savings income.

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What are the time limits for claiming back overpaid tax?

The time limits for claiming back overpaid tax are set out in the 'tax basics section'.

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What can I do if I am too late to make a claim for repayment?

There is information on what to do if you are too late to claim a repayment according to the normal time limits in the ‘tax basics section’.

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Where can I find more information and examples?

There is more information on how to claim a refund of tax in the ‘tax basics section’ of this website:

If you have overpaid tax because you have taken cash or a lump sum flexibly from your pension, look at our separate guidance on flexible pensions.
If you have overpaid tax and you have taken a lump sum from a defined benefit scheme (‘trivial commutation’), look at our separate guidance on ‘trivial commutation’.

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