We’ve processed a lot of 2011 personal tax returns over the last year, a few of which have resulted in refunds. The question which our (happy!) client asks is “when will I get my money back?”
Note the phrase “MY money” – a tax refund arises because a taxpayer has paid too much tax.
Unfortunately, the answer is: it depends. It depends on the size.
If it is less than £1,000, then chances are it will be sent out no fuss.
However, if it is more than £1,000, then you may encounter the phrase ‘pending’. A more detailed enquiry may throw up another phrase, ‘security check’. This means that rather than simply rebating money due as determined by the taxpayer – i.e. by self assessment – it is subject to human examination.
At this point, the injustice of the situation results in the cry “but that’s my money, they don’t hang around when they want it from you”. To be fair, if you complete your 2012 tax return in April and are due a refund, it will be paid to you shortly afterwards (subject to all I’ve said above), but if you owe tax, it won’t be due until January 2013.
So if you think you will be due a refund, get it claimed sooner rather than later.
Finally, just remember – if you are due a tax refund, but don’t ask for it to be repaid, HMRC aren’t going to tell you. However, if you DO get an email from them letting you know, it’s a scam!