Tax refunds: HMRC policy changes

Following a policy change from the tax office, if you fill in the repayment pages of your Self-Assessment Tax Return, you may not receive the refund in the account you have specified.

This is because HMRC will make a tax repayment using the card details that were used to make a previous tax payment first. The new process is due to their systems that bring them into line with banking industry standards. HMRC will only use the details on the Tax Return once the refund exceeds the amount of the payment made from the credit or debit card.

It’s also worth noting that you are no longer allowed to use your personal credit card to pay HMRC.


Let’s assume you made a £1,000 tax payment on account on 31 July 2017 using your personal credit card.

Your submitted Tax Return for 16/17 actually shows that a refund of £1,600 is due. You enter your bank details into the relevant self-assessment pages.

As your last payment was made using your credit card, HMRC will issue a £1,000 refund to your credit card and only £600 will be refunded to your bank account.

This is likely to cause a number of problems for taxpayers. If you’re due a refund, you should check carefully which account you have used to pay HMRC so that you know where some or all of your refund is likely to end up.

If you’re concerned about any aspect of your tax return, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 020 8530 0720. Or email – we’ll be happy to help.