Our top tax tips for students, answering your FAQs.

Employment income and tax overpayments

I have a couple of jobs and I might have overpaid tax. How much can I earn tax free?

  • The tax year runs 6 April to 5 April.
  • You can earn up to your annual personal allowance, that's £11,850 for the 2018/19 tax year tax free. 

When should I claim a tax refund?

  • It is only worth claiming a refund now if you know that you will not be doing any other paid work before the end of the tax year which is 5 April 2019 in UK.
  • If you are going to be doing more paid work during this tax year then ensure that you keep all your payslips and if you work for different employers ensure that you obtain a p45 when you leave each employment. 
  • If you are still with an employment at the end of the tax year the employer will provide you with a form P60. 
  • Keep all your P45s, P60s and payslips. 

How do I claim a tax refund if I have overpaid tax?

The simplest thing is to use HMRC's online tool

Last tax year(s)

  • If you paid tax in the tax year ending 5 April 2018, i.e. last tax year, you can still apply to HMRC for a refund of tax for that year, you can claim back tax for the last four years if you have not already done so.

When do I have to repay my student loans?

  • You do not need to start repaying your student loan until you have graduated (or left your course) and you have sufficient earnings.
  • Depending on when you took out your loan it will be repayable when your weekly earnings exceed £352 or £480.
  • HM Revenue & Customs provides a student loan helpsheet which gives you more detail on repayment of loans.

I am the beneficiary of a trust: do I need to consider tax?

If you are lucky enough to be the beneficiary of a trust you may be able to claim an annual refund of income tax.

Contact your trustee who will provide you with an R185 certificate of tax deduction.

You can then use Form 40 to reclaim the trust tax deducted from HMRC.

I'm starting my own business: what do I do now?

If you start your own business whether as a student or after your graduate you will need to register with HMRC and notify chargeability to tax.

You will be fined if you fail to notify HMRC that you are chargeable to tax.

You also need to set up to pay National Insurnace contributions and these are essential in order to ensure that you qualify for state benefits and pension.

See Starting in Business: start here

I have started a business but I am going to be making losses, do I need to register with HMRC?

It is still worth notifying HMRC that you have started a business. You will need to claim that loss on a tax return and then you can offset it against future income. If you have past income, you can carry back losses made when you start a business to the previous four years.

I am undertaking a bit of research and development (R & D) and I have heard it has some tax breaks. What do you suggest?

Yes, there are some great tax breaks for R & D however you need to be working with or through a company in order to benefit from any R & D reliefs. 

If you are doing R & D with your uni it may well have an R & D spin off company and this base will be covered.

However if you are doing your own thing, perhaps developing Apps, coding, or whatever then it is worth discussing further where this may lead in terms of tax relief. The key thing with R & D is to define your project and work through the tax outcomes at the start.

Contact VtaxP support if you require any assistance