Brits urged to look out for tax refund letters hitting doormats NOW – are you owed cash?
THOUSANDS of people are being urged to look out for tax refund letters which could come through their post box in the coming months.
You could be entitled to cash back if you paid too much tax last in previous years.
HMRC usually tries to update its customers records within 12 months of the tax year ending in April, which means calculating whether people have over or underpaid.
But Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter, said letters are usually received between June and September.
This means you could expect your tax refund letter through the post any time from now if you’re owed cash.
Rachael said: “The HMRC calculation is usually run at the end of the tax year, and that’s when it should make its way to you.”
If you have overpaid, there should be a link on the letter which you can follow to make a claim.
It will take you to the government’s website where you can fill in a form.
If you don’t do this, you’ll get a cheque sent out to you, but this process will obviously take longer.
It should be around five working days until you receive your payment, Rachael said.
If you’ve received a letter but don’t have access to a computer or phone with internet to go on the link, Rachael said contact HMRC via phone or post.
But you might need evidence to prove your are owed the tax you are calling up about.
How to check if you’re owed a tax refund
You don’t always have to wait for HMRC to contact you by post if you are expecting a tax recalculation.
People can sign up for a Personal Tax Account and check if they are eligible for a repayment, including backdated working from home tax relief.
For other claims, people can go to the government’s website.
And for the particularly tech-savvy, HMRC also has an app where you can track your tax.
You could get your payment earlier this way, rather than waiting for a letter through the door.
It’s worth checking that your account has your most recent address so that any letters do get to you.
Watch out for tax scams
Rachael said because people usually expect tax refund letters between June and September, it was a prime time for scammers to try and con people out of money.
“Because there is this window, we often see an increase in fraudulent activities,” she said.
“Be vigilant of what’s being asked of you. If you’re being asked to make a payment and you’re not sure it’s real you can call HMRC to check if its genuine.”
Rachael also said if a letter comes in a non-brown envelope, or the HMRC address on it doesn’t match up, it could be signs someone is trying to con you.
HMRC has previously issued advice saying it would never notify people about tax refunds via email.
So if you receiving an email pretending to be from HMRC, you should ignore it.
Customers have also been urged to watch out for dodgy texts, which ask people to follow a link to claim their tax refund.
In the past, customers have also been told to watch out for firms tricking people out of hundreds of pounds by offering to help them claim tax rebates when they can do it themselves for free.
Which? warned people back in January about being suckered into online ads imitating the HMRC website.
The consumer watchdog carried out a survey of more than 4,000 people, which found one in five had been contacted by a tax refund company.
HMRC has more examples of scams to look out for on its website.
If you are ever unsure whether a letter you have received is legitimate, you can visit HMRC’s website.