How do I work out if I have paid too much tax?

Updated on 6 February 2019

Tax basics

If you’re not sure how to work out whether you have paid too much tax, we offer some guidance in this section.

To work out accurately if you have paid too much tax, you will have to work out your tax liability and compare this to how much you have paid.

What information do I need?

To start with, you will need to gather all the information about your income and tax position. This may include the following documents for the tax year:

  • P60 and / or P45 from your employer(s) or pension provider(s)
  • P11D from your employer, if you receive taxable benefits-in-kind
  • Details of taxable state benefits received
  • Bank statements (or certificates of tax deducted for years up to and including 2015/16)
  • Building society statements (or certificates of tax deducted for tax years up to and including 2015/16)
  • Dividend certificates
  • Details of rental income and expenses.

For more information on the types of records and documents that you need to work out your income and tax position, go to the GOV.UK website.

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How do I work out my tax liability?

We set out an example tax calculation and explain the steps involved in calculating your tax liability on How do I work out my tax?.

To work out your tax liability, you first need to calculate your taxable income. You must include the gross amounts in your calculation, that is, the amounts before tax is taken off.

You may be able to deduct certain expenses or claim allowances against your gross taxable income.

You need to calculate your tax liability using the correct rates of tax, and you can then deduct the tax you have already paid, for example, under Pay As You Earn (PAYE), to work out your tax overpayment or underpayment.

If you live in Scotland and are a Scottish taxpayer, different income tax rates and bands apply to your non-savings and non-dividend income. There is more information in our section on Scottish income tax. UK rates and bands apply to your savings and dividend income.

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Where can I find other help and information?

HMRC have a 'tax checker' tool on their website, which enables you to find out if you are due a repayment of tax.

This is a useful tool for you if your tax position is straightforward. It may not give an accurate result if your tax position is more complex, for example, if you receive taxable state benefits.

If you do use the HMRC tool, you must read the guidance carefully first. This explains who can use the tax checker tool and what information to gather together.

You may also find our other guides helpful:

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