If you wear a uniform to work and have to wash, repair, or replace it yourself, you could be owed £100s in a tax rebate. You can claim this refund going back as far as five years, and can receive the rebate even if the uniform is simply a branded t-shirt. Find out more below.
The cost of living is squeezing many of us tightly at the moment, with price increases in fuel, energy, groceries, and rent. Many of us are looking to save wherever we can, including applying for any tax rebates that we may legally owed.
One of the lesser-known tax refunds that people can apply for is the uniform tax refund. You can claim this refund, for free, if you wear a uniform to work and are eligible. Below we detail the eligibility criteria and what you need to do to claim the refund.
Am I eligible for a uniform tax rebate?
In order to be eligible to claim a uniform tax rebate, all of the below must be applicable to your working situation:
- You wear an identifiable uniform that shows you have a certain role or job, such as a branded t-shirt, an outdoor jacket, a nurse uniform, police or firemen etc. The simple test that the HMRC give to employees is, if you were out in public, would a member of the public recognise where you work from a logo or company name on any item you are wearing. There have even been cases where plain clothes without any logo have worked, so it might still be worth a try.
- Your employer requires you to wear this while at work. This means you had no other option but to buy it. This is the case if you have only had to wear the uniform once all year.
- You have to buy, clean, repair or replace the uniform yourself. You cannot claim if your employer has given you your uniform, or if your employer provides facilities to wash your kit.
- You paid income tax in the year you are claiming for. The tax rebate is reducing your tax liability, not put cash in your bank. This means if you paid no tax in the year you are claiming for, you cannot receive the rebate.
How much can I claim for a uniform tax refund?
There is a flat-rate expense allowance for uniform maintenance of £60. When claiming a uniform tax refund, you will be claiming back the amount of tax you would have paid on that £60. So, basic-rate taxpayers will get 20% back as a refund - this is £12. Higher-rate taxpayers will receive £24 back.
This can be backdated by five years. In total. If you were a basic-rate taxpayer who wore a uniform in each of those tax years, you could claim:
- 2022/23 – £12
- 2021/22 – £12
- 2020/21 – £12
- 2019/20 – £12
- 2018/19 – £12
This could be a tax rebate of £60 in total. Having said this, you only have until 5 April 2023 to claim relief for the 2018/19 tax year.
Can certain industries receive more of a refund?
Yes, certain industries are afforded more a refund. Ambulance staff, for example, have specific allowances of £185 because of their specialist uniforms. Other examples of different allowances are:
- Firefighters and fire officers' allowance is £80
- Dental nurses and healthcare assistants' allowance is £125
- Pilots and co-pilots' allowance is £1,022
- Mechanics' allowance is £120
You can see the full detailed list of different occupation allowances here.
How can I make a uniform refund claim?
If you are claiming for the first time, you will need to fill out a P87 form online or print it out and send it to:
Pay As You Earn,
HM Revenue & Customs,
You can write “Repayment Claim” on the envelope to help speed things up.
On this form, whether online or posting, you will be asked for a number of details. These include:
- Employer's name and address
- Your occupation, job title and industry sector
- Your details, including your national insurance number and your pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) reference
- Whether you're claiming flat-rate expenses (usually you will be, if not, you'll need detailed records of costs). See flat-rate expenses allowed for different occupations
- How you want to be paid – into your bank account or by cheque
If you have claimed before, you can phone HMRC. Your tax code should have been adjusted for future years so that the rebate comes off automatically, so you will not necessarily need to claim again.
If this does not happen, however, you can do a reclaim over the phone. To do this, call HMRC 0300 200 3310, 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, or 8am to 4pm on Saturday.
All of the details can be found on the HMRC website here.
How can ClaimExperts.co.uk help?
In this particular instance, we just want to provide free, helpful information for anyone who may need it. This guide is completely free, and we have provided all of the links, forms and telephone numbers you might need. We are not taking on Uniform Tax Rebate claims, and advise anyone who is thinking of doing this to do it themselves.
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