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Are you struggling to get a refund from HMRC?

HMRC have set out some of the issues that delay your refunds on self-assessment returns. There are 7 of them so brace yourself


  1. do not send in voluntary returns — register your client for Self Assessment, await the notice to file a return before submitting the return. HMRC cannot process a return without the correct references

  2. uncleared credit — do not submit a repayment claim within 14 days of making a payment

  3. ensure your client’s address is up to date — clients with correspondence returned to the HMRC return letter service will encounter further checks

  4. bank sort code and account number — check these are accurate before submitting a repayment claim

  5. deceased clients — ensure any capacitor is notified to HMRC before submitting a return on which a repayment is requested

  6. previously bankrupt clients — ensure the repayment request details are submitted using the post-bankruptcy Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

  7. payable orders — encourage clients to receive their repayment electronically

There isn't anything staggering about this list and probably drops into the ‘oh, that is basic box’ but all seven are easy to overlook


HMRC do say over 90% of repayment claims are processed automatically. The remainder leave the automated system. Now they don’t say what the number leaving the system is but it would be reasonable to assume that it is more than 1 or 2.


So anything you can do to help your client seems sensible.


Perhaps ensure the tax return team add these 7 points to the checklists.


And finally A full list of potential repayment inhibitors is included in Self Assessment manual 113010.

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