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Service levels on HMRC claims

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As agents dealing with HMRC, clients often ask us when they can expect their claims to be processed.

In the past, we would have either given an estimate on timescales for an HMRC claim based on previous experience or made a telephone call to HMRC. If we didn’t hear back from HMRC, then we would have made more telephone calls.

The good news is that HMRC have released their service dashboard (accessed via and the Check now button), which allows the current turnaround times for their range of services to be accessed on screen.

As I look now, I can see items that are showing a turnaround time well inside their target of 15 days. However, one which particularly jumps out as currently taking considerably longer, is the tax repayment claim (form R40), used to claim a repayment of tax deducted from certain income types at source. 

For these claims, HMRC (at the time of writing in July 2022) are processing claims received in August 2021 – although they optimistically expect to get back on track by the end of November 2022!

There’s a lot of information available on HMRC’s website about their response times and service levels, since January 2017, which shows how service levels fell during the first year of the pandemic, when HMRC were heavily involved with administering a large part of the government support.

However, the fact remains that a turnaround time of over ten months for a refund of tax which has been overpaid, is not good enough, and recently various professional bodies have complained about HMRC’s service levels.

It certainly seems as though people who’ve already been waiting a long while for their money could be waiting for a few more months yet.

Need help?

To learn more about our private client services, please get in touch with your usual Larking Gowen contact. You can find contact details in the Our People section of our website. Alternatively, call 0330 024 0888 or email


Kevin Francis

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Larking Gowen


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