Claim Income Tax back when you've stopped work

If you have had your final pay from your employer and are not getting taxable benefits, a pension from your employer and have not started a new job you can apply for tax refund.


Claim online (sign in using Government Gateway)

Claim by post (form p50)


Before you apply

You must have had your final pay from your employer before you can apply for a refund.

When you can apply for a refund

You may be able to claim back Income Tax now if you’ve recently stopped working, for example if:

  • you are looking for work and you’ve been unemployed for 4 weeks or more
  • you do not expect to go back to work
  • you’ve returned to full-time study

When you cannot apply for a refund

You cannot apply for a refund now if you’re:

  • receiving or will receive other taxable income such as a works pension from your old employer before the end of the tax year
  • claiming:
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance (unless you’re claiming for National Insurance credits only)
    • taxable Incapacity Benefit
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • Carer’s Allowance

Before you start

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How to apply

You can either:

  • use the online service
  • fill in form on-screen, print and post to HMRC

To use the online service, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID you can create one when you use the service.

After you’ve applied

Once HMRC have received your completed claim form, it will be processed. This will take up to 14 days, you should not contact HMRC during that period to check on progress.

If your claim is:

  • successful, you will receive a refund either by cheque (also known as a ‘payable order’) or directly to your bank account
  • unsuccessful, HMRC will tell you why

If you have stopped work and flexibly accessed your pension

You may be able to get a refund if you have flexibly accessed your pension.

You can use:

  • form P50Z if you have emptied your pension pot
  • form P55 if you’ve taken only part of your pension pot and will not be taking regular payments or the pension body is unable to make a tax refund
  • form P53 or P53Z to claim a tax refund on a small pension lump sum

If you are making a claim because you have left the UK

If you’ve left the UK and you’re no longer working in the UK, to claim a refund you should use the form P85.

Published 1 July 2014
Last updated 6 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. P50 claim for repayment of tax form updated for tax year 2019 to 2020.

  2. Link to form p50 has been updated.

  3. Clarification has been added to explain the form is to be used by people working within the UK.

  4. An online service is now available.

  5. New print and complete form added.

  6. Welsh version of form P50Z added to this page.

  7. Form P50Z added to claim refund on flexible access pension payment.

  8. Added translation

  9. First published.