How to Claim a Tax Rebate if you Wash your Work Uniform at Home
Many UK occupations require you to wear a uniform but what many uniformed employees don’t know is that they’re entitled to a uniform tax rebate.
Want to know what a uniform tax rebate is, how much you can claim, who is eligible and more? in this guide, we help you learn what a uniform tax rebate is, who can claim, how much you can claim and more.
What is a Uniform Tax Rebate?
The Uniform Tax Rebate is a tax refund offered by the HMRC to employees who wear a uniform at work. As a tax relief, the uniform tax rebate goes towards the cost of washing, repairing and replacing the work uniform. Only midwives and nurses can claim tax relief for replacing socks, underwear and shoes.
Occupations of people who can claim the uniform tax rebate include…
- Care assistants
- Airline staff
- Law enforcement – police
- Prison staff
- Construction workers
- NHS and Healthcare workers
- Shipyard workers and more
The rebate is usually made available to you in the form of a tax refund in your payslip. If your employer pays all of your expenses, you cannot claim any tax relief.
Who Can Claim the Uniform Tax Rebate?
The HMRC has set strict rules about who can claim the Uniform Tax Rebate. To receive the tax refund, you must be in full employment. Self-employed persons can claim tax relief, but not all of them. For example, if you buy a uniform specifically to do your job, such as self-employed beauticians, you can claim tax relief.
Protective clothing such as steel toe work boots, hard hats and protective eyewear are eligible for the tax refund. If you’re self-employed, you cannot claim the cost of washing your work uniform. This is because it’s challenging to come up with a flat fee that all sole traders could reasonably claim.
Also, you must have paid tax for the year you spent money on washing, replacing or repairing your work uniform.
You cannot claim a uniform tax rebate if…
- You spent money to buy your uniform
- Your employer reimbursed you for the costs
- You are using Personal Protective Equipment
According to the UK government, if your job requires you to use PPE, your employer should give you PPE free of charge or ask you to buy it and reimburse you.
How Much Tax-Refund Can You Claim for Washing Your Uniform?
If you’re employed, you can claim tax relief for cleaning your work uniform and spending money repairing or replacing the uniform. Flat rate expenses allow you to claim tax relief for a standard amount every tax year. The amount you can claim usually depends on your field and industry.
The HMRC has already set out the flat rates you can use.
- Agriculture – all workers – £100
- Airlines – pilots, co-pilots, deck crew – £1,022
- Airlines – cabin crew – £720
- Armed forces – army, Royal Airforce, Royal Marines – £100
- Armed forces – Royal Navy – £80
- Banks and building societies – uniformed messengers and doormen – £60
- Fire service – £80
- Forestry – £100
- Food – all workers – £60
HMRC prepared a full list of occupations and flat rate deductions. If your occupation is not currently listed, HMRC has set a flat fee of £60.
Besides the flat rate, you can claim the actual amount you spent. To do this, you must keep the receipts. To know the uniform tax rebate you can claim, multiply the cost of washing, repairing and replacing your uniform by your highest tax rate.
For example, you work in the food industry. The flat rate expense is £60, and assuming your highest tax rate is 10%. Your uniform tax rebate will be £6 (10% X £60)
You can obtain your highest tax rate by asking your employer or checking your payslip.
How Can I Claim My HMRC Uniform Tax Rebate?
If your tax relief amount is £2,500 or below, you can claim the tax refund by post, by phone or online. To claim by post, download and complete the P87 form and post to the address at the end of the form. To claim by phone, call HMRC on 0300 200 3300 and have your National Insurance number at hand.
Lastly, we have the online option. To claim your tax refund, register for your HMRC account. If you already have an account, proceed to claim your uniform tax rebate. For the self-employed, you can claim the tax refund on a self-assessment tax return. Just enter the amount in box 18 of the SA102 page.
For claims above £2,500, register or sign in to your HMRC account and complete your self-assessment tax return. When you Register for an HMRC account, you’ll receive a letter with your 10 digit Unique Taxpayers Reference number. You’ll also receive a second letter with an activation code. Activate your HMRC account with the code and complete the self-assessment return before the deadline.
How Will I Receive my HMRC Uniform Tax Rebate
The HMRC will send a letter to you and your employer notifying you of changes in your tax code. The changes require your employer to amend the amount of tax he deducts from your pay. By doing so, you’ll receive your tax refund.
How Many Years Back Can I Claim My HMRC Uniform Tax Rebate?
If it’s your first time claiming your uniform tax rebate, the HMRC allows you to make a backdated claim up to 4 years back. The HMRC may send you a P810 Tax Review form during the tax year. This form helps to make sure that your tax code is correct.
You can use the P810 form to claim tax relief if your claim is below £1000. If you changed jobs midway within the tax year, you might have to complete additional forms.