Hundreds of thousands of students are starting or returning to university at present and those who had summer jobs should check now if they're owed overpaid tax.

Income tax is usually taken from pay packets automatically by employers, yet many don't owe the taxman anything.

Many wrongly believe they have to wait until the end of the tax year to claim back overpaid tax, but this is not true, anyone can claim at any point.

Anyone who earns less than £7,475 in the current tax year does not need to pay income tax.

Students are unlikely to need to reclaim overpaid national insurance (NI) as it is rarely taken incorrectly from them, according to the Government.

NI is only deducted on weekly earnings over £139 (equivalent to a £7,230 annual salary).

What should I do?

If you are student who has worked, and think you are owed tax back, follow these steps:

  1. Check your payslip to see if you have been or are paying income tax.
  2. If you have wrongly paid, or if you want to double check whether you have or not, contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on 0845 300 0627 and ask for the money back, if appropriate.
  3. Those still working should get a rebate in their next pay packet, while those no longer working can expect a cheque.

Students can fill out a P38(S) form to stop tax being automatically deducted.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), says: "If you're owed money, there's no point waiting for HMRC to give it back to you; you need to get on the case."