Can I claim back tax and NI if I have to pay back enhanced maternity pay?

I didn’t return to work after maternity leave and have had to pay back enhanced maternity pay, including NI and tax. How can I reclaim tax and NI on the maternity pay I have had to pay back? I know people who have gone to HMRC to ask about this, but HMRC says it is not their responsibility. It is the company’s.  What can/should they do to ensure I get the money back? Are they legally obliged to refund the tax and NI, eg, by issuing a negative payslip for the NI and tax amount and then submitting that to HMRC?

Tax

tax form with callculator and glasses

In theory someone who does repay enhanced maternity pay would appear to lose out on tax and NI . Employers should adjust this through PAYE, but many don’t. One of the problems is that there is no way to reclaim any overpaid NI through the Real Time Information system. It is also unclear whether you can claim a refund of the tax through a P85 form or even a tax return.

One crumb of comfort might be that holiday pay might accrue during maternity leave. It would require a generous HR/Payroll Department to acknowledge most of these issues and in the circumstances of a key employee leaving  they might not be so accommodating.

Generally, it would depend on the contract of employment and wording of any documents signed, including the maternity pay policy, but this area seems like an unaddressed anomaly .



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