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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seek to strike a balance between issuing repayments as quickly as possible for the benefit of customers and ensuring that the Exchequer is adequately protected against fraud. Therefore some tax repayment claims are subject to security checks, which may delay repayments from being made.
Refunds made from online self-assessment (income tax and capital gains tax) returns are normally made within seven days. For paper returns, HMRC identify returns on receipt marked 'repayment' and process these as priority. Sampling of income tax self-assessment repayments from October 2008 to April 2009 indicates that 90 per cent. of repayments are consistently made within 30 days.
Inheritance tax and national insurance contribution repayments are processed in line with and meet the HMRC's departmental objective 2, i.e. 80 per cent. of cases to be cleared within 15 working days and 95 per cent. to be cleared within 40 working days.
For PAYE, 99.3 per cent. of repayment claims arising from tax on investment income deducted at source in 2008-09 were processed within 15 working days of receipt against a target of 97 per cent.
Refunds processed from online self-assessment corporation tax returns are normally made within seven days.
Full data for previous years is not available.