Beginner’s Guide: Claiming a Tax Refund If You Lose Your Job

working on laptop

Beginner’s Guide: Claiming a Tax Refund If You Lose Your Job

If you’ve lost your job since the start of the tax year, there’s a chance that you might be eligible for a tax refund from the government. Income tax is calculated over an entire tax year, so if you lose your job before the end of the year, you’ve probably paid too much income tax based on what you earned over the course of the year—you won’t have earned as much as the government expected you to originally. Now, if the situation we’ve outlined above applies to you then you must be wondering how you can claim your tax refund. To help you out, we thought it would be useful to put together a brief guide on this subject. If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, read on for a beginner’s guide to claiming a tax refund if you’ve lost your job.

How Long Do You Have to Be Unemployed to Be Eligible to Claim Tax Back?

You cannot claim a tax refund until you have been unemployed for at least four weeks. Remember, there are certain situations when you won’t need to fill out the HMRC form for claiming a tax refund. If another employer pays you within four weeks of losing your old job, they should fill out the refund form on your behalf, so you don’t have to. You’ll need to give them parts 2 and 3 of your P45, and they can give it to HMRC with the completed refund form.

How Do You Determine How Much Tax You Can Claim?

While this may seem simple, it can be rather tricky. This is doubly true if you’ve never tried to calculate how much tax back you can claim. Crunching the numbers to work out how much tax you could get back isn’t always easy, but fortunately, HM Revenue & Customs has a solution. It can calculate your tax bill with an online tool. First, you have to have all of your paperwork together—that means your payslip and bank statements.

How Do You Get Your Tax Refund If You Aren’t Claiming Benefits and Haven’t Started a New Job?

If you’ve had your final paycheck from your employer, and the paycheck included all of your taxable payments, you can claim a refund from HMRC if you haven’t yet started a new job. You can claim a tax refund by filling out and sending the form P50. You can download it and send it by post, or you can fill it out online here. Once you’ve made your claim, it will take HMRC up to 14 days to process it. If your claim is successful, you’ll receive your money directly into your bank account, and if it is unsuccessful, HMRC will send you a letter explaining why your claim was denied.


We hope this short guide proves to be useful when it comes to helping you claim your tax refund. While this process may seem rather intimidating, it’s not something that you won’t be able to get through if you know what you’re doing. Be sure to keep everything that we’ve mentioned in mind so that you can best navigate this process.

Tax Refund Calculator can help you get back that’s yours by calculating whether you’ve paid too much tax or have unused uniform allowance or marriage tax allowance. Check your HMRC tax refund today!