The UK financial year runs from April 6 until April 5 the next year, and if you didn’t work for the entire 12 months you will have paid too much tax.

If you earned less than £5225 in the 2007/08 tax year, you should get it all back. If you’ve earned more than that, you should still get part of it back, depending on how much you’ve earned and how much of the year you’ve worked. HM Revenue & Customs has all the tax-free thresholds and tax bands.

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How to get your tax back

Use a tax agent

Many people would prefer to have a tax agent prepare and submit their claim, for a commission. You should receive your money back in six to eight weeks.

Many of the tax agents listed in TNT offer free tax-return calculators on their websites, so if you know how much you’ve earned, you can use them to get an idea of how much you’ll get back.

Tax agents:

1st Contact Tax Refunds
Anglo Pacific
Freedom Tax Refunds
Rapid Refunds

Do it yourself

It is possible to submit your claim yourself. If you’re leaving the UK before the end of the tax year and not returning you’ll need a P85 form — which you can download from the HM Revenue and Customs (formerly the Inland Revenue) website.

Fill it in and send them off to the relevant HMRC office. To find your HMRC office you need to know your employer’s tax office code (it should be on your P60 or P45) and then go to the HMRC tax office locator.