Claiming an income tax rebate if you're unemployed

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If you are unemployed then you may be able to claim what is likely to be a much needed income tax refund from the tax man.

Assuming you were working during a tax year but were then made redundant for whatever reason, you can probably claim some money back because of the way our tax system works.

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) assumes you will be working the full tax year and taxes you accordingly. However, if you're made redundant or end up unemployed for any other reason (it doesn't matter if you were fired), then you won't have worked a full tax year and so may be due a rebate.

You will have received a P45 when you left your job (or soon after). To calculate if you may be due a tax refund, enter the gross pay to date and tax paid into this tax rebate calculator at

Do bear in mind, however, that if you've been claiming Jobseekers Allowance that this will count towards your basic income tax free allowance as well as any income earned in the same tax year.

Even if you've been unemployed for more than a year, you could still be entitled to some kind of income tax rebate as you can claim back as far as six years currently. You could have been on the wrong tax code during that time and paid too much tax that way. You are still entitled to it and any rebate would be useful.

It will take 4-8 weeks to claim an income tax refund if you are unemployed, depending on the backlog at your tax office.

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