Self assessment tax repayments - do you have to phone HMRC to get them processed?

 We have had some reports of self assessment tax repayments being inhibited, and only released when a call is made to HMRC. We are concerned that there may be delays in processing refunds and would like to hear your experiences. If the problem is widespread we want to give feedback to HMRC.


Repayments arising from online filing of self assessment returns may be inhibited (ie stopped) for a variety of reasons, and HMRC staff have to look at them before they can be released.


In one report a member told us that when they telephoned the agent dedicated lines to chase an inhibited repayment for a client, they were informed that contact centre staff are not allowed to say why the repayment has been inhibited.


For more information

Tax Faculty members can find more information about repayments and why they may be inhibited in TAXline briefings: March 2009 “Where is my repayment?” and June 2009 “More about delayed repayments”


The HMRC Self Assessment Manuals has information at SAM113010 – Repayments: repayment work lists: w030 inhibited automatic repayments work list


Have you had the same experience recently?

If so please post a comment indicating:


  • The type and amount of the repayment
  • If the repayment was released only following a call to HMRC, and
  • Why the repayment was withheld, if known


  • Claimed refund of CIS tax,in excess of £9000, on the SA return 26th Jan 2011. At the client's request this was mandated to ourselves because he has problems with his bank, and owed us some fees.

    Refund shown on website as due, by 2/2/11, but necessary to claim by phone to the Agent line as online one can only direct the refund to the client's own account. Phoned 2/2,8/2,15/2/,20/2 and 1/3. On 1/3 I was told that the Agent line e-mail of 2/2 to the repayment department had probably been lost, but they would send another, which would take 4 weeks. I phoned again on 28/3 and was told there was no record of any claim until 21st March and that the case had now been selected for security checks and would take another 4 to 5 weeks.

    Do they have any staff? Do they have any money?


  • Lots of delays with various income tax refunds, several months & numeous phone calls into chasing them and still not forthcoming.


  • Current year SA refunds mostly dealt with quickly; even 'inhibited' refunds generally appear within a few weeks of follow-up phone calls etc. However, anything demanding manual intervention by HMRC, e.g., tax refunds arising from carrying back trading losses to a previous year, seem to take forever, even when chased up. That applies to corporation tax as well as income tax. Still waiting for several such expected refunds claimed last summer or earlier: no disputes raised, just a deafening silence from HMRC.
  • Client is due a CIS repayment of £70K - claim made but no action from HMRC despite several phone calls. We were then advised on about our 5th call that nothing would happen for at least 88 days as that was current length of their post backlog. We wrote two complaint letters and had a call back saying someone would contact us within 2 weeks. The 2 weeks have passed but still no HMRC reply.

    No such delays it has to be said when boot is on other foot - Inspectors with i-pads going round to clients to collect outstanding tax within weeks of due payment date passing.

  • We currently have two clients awaiting refunds.  We have made numerous calls. HMRC say they are doing checks and will send an email to the relevant team to call us.  Call backs take 15 days.  To date we have received no calls