Will HMRC know if I've overpaid tax?
In theory, yes. If you're employed or receiving a pension, HMRC will check each year to make sure you've paid the right tax. If they spot a mistake in either direction, they'll send you a P800 tax calculation to even things up.
Your P800 calculation will let you know how much more tax to pay or whether you are due a tax refund and should be claiming tax back.
What do I do if I get a P800?
If you get a P800, you need to check it thoroughly to make sure the taxman's got his facts straight. If he has, no problem. You generally don't need to do anything more.
If you owe under £3,000, you'll probably end up paying it back over the next year. If it's more, they'll get in touch to let you know how to pay and of course if you’ve overpaid you can start the process of claiming tax back.
How will HMRC send my tax refund to me?
If you're owed a tax refund, you'll usually get a cheque within a couple of weeks. If you use RIFT to claim your tax back for you then HMRC will send it to us and we will send it on to you.
What if HMRC gets it wrong?
If you think there's a mistake in your P800, then you need to get in touch with HMRC quickly to sort it out. You might have to sit on a phone queue for a while but it may be your only way of correcting the error. If you're a RIFT client, we'll handle all that for you as part of our service.
Will I get a P800 if I'm registered for self assessment?
No, the self assessment system has its own way of fixing mistakes. Instead of a sending out a P800 tax calculation, HMRC will just adjust your tax bill automatically. You should see the corrected version when you log into your account on the HMRC site.
Are there any tools that can help me?
If you're having trouble working out if your P800's correct or not, you might be able to use the HMRC Tax Checker.
What should I do if I make an error on my tax return?
First off, don't panic. These things happen from time to time and HMRC understands that. However, as soon as you realise there's a problem you need to get cracking and fix it. A self assessment tax return can be amended for up to 12 months after the normal filing date (31st of January). If you let that self assessment deadline pass without correcting the mistake, things can get dicey for you fast.
The penalties you'll face depend on how bad the mistake was, and how honest they think you've been about it. In general, an honest mistake that you fix quickly won't be punished. However, if you delay or make HMRC think you're hiding something, you'll definitely wish you'd got it right the first time.
If you file your returns online, then the process for correcting them is pretty simple. You just log in, select the return you need to change and sort it out. If you file on paper you'll need to download another copy of the form and send in the corrected pages.
The main thing to remember is that you never have to go it alone. RIFT Refunds are the UK's top tax experts, and we're always ready to help. We've been sorting out people's tax worries and refunds since 1999 and we're the best in the business. Just phone 01233 628648 or contact us to see how we could help you.
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