Last week HMRC’s PAYE system had a ‘glitch’ which prevented taxpayers from using the online tax relief system. This has caused quite a bit of extra distress for those waiting on their payments.

What’s the problem?

The online tax rebate claiming service was taken down by HMRC on the night of Tuesday 23rd June. They detected a technical problem and closed the service in order to fix it. It was back up and running again on Saturday 27th June.

People were unable to submit a claim for the repayment of overpaid income tax during this time period. Those who have already submitted a claim are now facing a three week wait for processing, doubling the amount of time it takes for money to reach their bank accounts.

What are HMRC doing to help?

HMRC apologised in a tweet: “We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

All technical issues are sorted and the online tool is ready for new claims. Any claims received by HMRC before the tool was taken down to be fixed will get their cash in their bank accounts by 2nd July. If you have requested a cheque, it will take until the 13th July.

Can I apply for a tax refund online?

If you are paid through the PAYE system then you can use HMRC’s online repayment tool. Before you sit down to start the process, get all your paperwork together. You’ll need:

  • P800 Calculation letter from HMRC telling you you’ve overpaid
  • Government gateway ID and password
  • National Insurance number
  • UK passport (in date)
  • Payslip from the last three months
  • P60, you get this from your employer at the end of each tax year
  • Tax credit payments details, if you have any

Then it’s just a case of following the instructions and putting your information in the right boxes.

HMRC are struggling just as much as everyone else and the last thing they need are any technical difficulties. Perhaps quicker communication would have helped ease the minds of people who are relying on their tax rebate and had planned around the timing of the process. It’s great that it’s all fixed. We’ll all just have to have a little bit of extra patience while they clear the backlog of payments and cheques.