Coronavirus Travel Rights
23 April 2021
FREE Uniform Tax Refund
If you wear a uniform at work, and have to wash, repair or replace it yourself, you may be able to reclaim £100s of tax for up to five years of expenses. You can reclaim whether it's just a branded T-shirt or if you're a fully uniformed pilot, police officer or nurse. Don't pay a claims firm, as you can do it yourself for FREE.
Important update March 2021: Don't wait to apply if you are eligible, as you can only backdate four tax years, so if you delay until after the new tax year starts on 6 April, you will lose out on a year. PS: Check out the 17 other urgent April deadline need-to-knows.
If your job does require you to use PPE, your employer should give you PPE free of charge, OR ask you to buy it and pay you back the costs. So you can't reclaim any tax on it.
To be able to claim tax relief, ALL of the following must apply:
One group that shouldn't need to go through the process are those in the armed forces. The cost of maintaining their uniforms should be dealt with via their tax code, with their tax-free personal allowance raised to compensate.
And if you're self-employed, instead of claiming via the rebate, you should claim uniform and laundry expenses when filling in your self-assessment tax return.
Tax relief for cleaning a uniform is a flat rate, so as long as you were required to wear the uniform at any point in the year – even one day, you are entitled to get the full year's tax relief.
The standard flat-rate expense allowance for uniform maintenance is £60. By claiming a uniform tax refund, you'll get back the amount of tax you would otherwise have paid on that £60. So if you're a basic-rate taxpayer, you'll get 20% of £60 as a rebate – which is £12. Higher-rate taxpayers will get back £24.
The standard allowance for uniform maintenance is £60 - you'll get back the amount of tax you'd have paid on that, which is £12 for basic-rate taxpayers and £24 for higher-rate taxpayers.
Since the £60 is a flat rate, you don't need to record and report the individual amounts you actually spend.
You are entitled to claim back within the past four years, so back to April 2016, plus the current year (so five years altogether). So if you've been wearing the uniform all that time, a basic-rate taxpayer, claiming the standard uniform allowance for 2016/2017 to 2020/21, could reclaim £60 in total.
But you've only got until 5 April to claim for the tax year 2016/17, so go quick if you need to claim for this year.
Some occupations have more specific limits, such as ambulance staff, often to do with specialist uniforms, with a maximum annual allowance of £185. Basic-rate taxpayers would get back £37 tax on that for each year they claim (higher rate £74). In addition to their standard allowance (£125), nurses and midwives can also claim for shoes, socks and tights.
Here are some other examples (all are annual allowances):
The only way you can get more than the standard payment is to prove that your annual uniform laundry bill is higher. For any claim (see below for a how-to) you'll need to keep receipts and fill in a 'P87' form and send it off.
I just wanted to thank Martin. I applied for a uniform tax refund for the last three years and I've just received £180.
Woohoo! Finally got around to doing this, I've been in a uniformed role for five years now, got a very tasty £250 back...
It depends whether this is your first time claiming this tax back or not:
IMPORTANT – do it yourself for FREE. We've heard reports of claims handlers offering to do this for you, particularly on Facebook, then taking a cut. That's unnecessary in our view. You can do this by yourself for FREE.
You can apply online or by post. Simply fill in the P87 form online or print it out and send to Pay As You Earn, HM Revenue & Customs, BX9 1AS. Write 'Repayment Claim' on the envelope to speed things up. If applying by post, you'll need to fill in one form for each year you're claiming for.
If you need the form in an alternative format, contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on 0300 200 3310.
You'll be asked for information on:
The form is a catch-all, so asks about other expenses you may be claiming, eg, company car. If you don't get any of these, just click 'No' on each page of the form that doesn't apply.
Usually, if you've submitted a reclaim, your tax code will be adjusted in future years to take account of your costs, so you won't need to reclaim again.
However, if this doesn't happen, and if you've claimed before and had expenses of less than £1,000, you can do the reclaim over the phone (for bigger claims you'll need to use the form again). Call 0300 200 3310, 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, or 8am to 4pm on Saturday.
If, as part of its normal tax admin, HMRC sends you a P810 'Tax Review' form – to check your tax code is correct – you can also fill this in to claim tax relief. For expenses over £1,000, or if you changed jobs midway through a tax year, you'll need to fill in additional forms.
You can't claim for the initial cost of the clothes.
There are other tax-deductible expenses you may be able to claim, such as the cost of professional fees, specialist tools or travel for your job. See more on the other allowances on the HMRC website.
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