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How long do HMRC take to process a refund?

I logged into my Self Assessment account on the HMRC website six weeks or so ago and saw that I was due a refund due to overpayment. The system allows you to request a BACS repayment. Does anyone have any idea how long this usually takes? I know HMRC's payment time is a bit of a standing joke but wondered when I could expect this.


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A friend has been waiting for two months for his refund (only of 94p but it's still owed).

Think of a random number between 1 and 20. Throw a dice and multiply it my the random number - that's probably a resonable estimate for the average numer of days manzanilla

Thanks - as I suspected. The real hypocrisy being that they're allowed to give you deadlines and fine you if you don't meet them! :)

Well I have to say that not having to put your tax return in until end Jan always strikes me as pretty generous! manzanilla

Ben 31 Jan is a peak time for submissions so expect longer turnarounds from then. If you think that they owe you, submit it in April instead. There fewer submissions then and you get your refund sooner. Mike 

http://www.centralbusiness.co.uk/accounts/?p=368 Apparently 10% of all refunds are submitted to a 'specialist unit' to be checked, which can take months. Not sure what for they're checking for, it just seems like another way to create some public sector jobs and annoy everyone else. In theory they have to pay you interest if the refund is late. In practice, the iterest rate is currently 0.5%, so it's barely even worth claiming.

The interest that Swarbs refers to only starts from the end of the following tax year. So if you are due a refund in respect of 2008/09 as I suspect is the case with Ben, HMRC will not pay interest until after 5 April 2010 and then only from that date. Mike

You've just reminded me that this year I got sent a refund cheque in the first week of February despite finishing the self assessment online a week earlier and being presented with an outstanding amount to pay (which I paid online immediately). I know I'd better call them but I have a feeling it'll be a painful process.

Where would someone ring to chase it up (after 6 weeks)?