FREE uniform tax refund

Reclaim £100s from up to five years of expenses

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. Do not pay a claims firm, as their charges can eat up most of what you're due, or even leave you out of pocket – do it yourself for FREE.

Am I eligible for a uniform tax rebate?

To be able to claim tax relief for washing your work clothing, ALL of the following must apply:

  • You wear a recognisable uniform that shows you've got a certain job, such as a branded T-shirt, nurse or police uniform. HMRC says a simple test would be if you were out and about and wearing your work uniform, a member of the public would recognise your employer because of logos or a company name from your uniform. 

  • Your employer requires you to wear it while you're working. This means you have no other option but to buy it. You can still claim the whole year's relief even if you only had to wear the uniform on ONE DAY within the tax year.

  • You have to purchase, clean, repair or replace it yourself. However, you can't claim if your employer washes your kit, provides facilities to do so (even if you don't use them) or pays you for doing this maintenance.

  • You paid income tax in the year you are claiming for. Since this is a perk to reduce your tax liability, you can't claim if you paid no tax in the year you're claiming for.

Who can't claim via the rebate?

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.

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How much can I get?

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.

Since the £60 is a flat rate, you don't need to record and report the individual amounts you actually spend.

In addition to the current year's allowance, you can backdate your claim by up to four tax years too (currently 2020/21, 2021/2022, 2022/23 and 2023/24) – so five years in total. If you're a basic-rate taxpayer who wore a uniform in each of the five tax years, your rebate will be worth £60. 

You'll have until 5 April 2025 to claim the relief for 2020/21 – after that, you'll lose the ability to backdate for that year. 

Depending on your industry, you could get more 

Some occupations have more specific limits, often to do with specialist uniforms, such as ambulance staff who get 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):

  • Firefighters and fire officers' allowance is £80 (basic-rate taxpayers can get £16, higher rate £32).
  • Dental nurses and healthcare assistants' allowance is £125 (basic-rate taxpayers can get £25, higher rate £50).
  • Pilots and co-pilots' allowance is £1,022 (basic-rate taxpayers can get £204, higher rate £408.80).
  • Mechanics' allowance is £120 (basic-rate taxpayers can get £24, higher rate £48).

Check the full list of occupations to see if yours is listed.

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.

How and when will I get the money?

  • For the current tax year, your tax code will change, so you'll be taxed less in future and see a slight increase in your take-home pay. HMRC says it usually takes two days to get a new tax code. But when you'll see a difference to your actual pay depends on whether your employer gets it in time to meet the cut-off date for its payroll. For example, if you get paid on the 25th of each month and your employer gets your new tax code on the 10th, it's likely to be applied that month, but if it only gets it on the 23rd, you'll likely have to wait another month.

  • If your claim is for previous tax years, HMRC will either make adjustments through your tax code or give you a tax refund. Once your claim has been received and processed by HMRC, you'll be sent a letter telling you how much you're entitled to, and details on when the money will be paid.

People have claimed over £200 back – for FREE

If you need a bit more inspiration, here are a couple of the many successes we've heard since first mentioning this rebate.

I just wanted to thank Martin. I applied for a uniform tax refund for the last three years and I've just received £180.

butterfly legs

Woohoo! Finally got around to doing this, I've been in a uniformed role for five years. Now, got a very tasty £250 back...


How do I make a claim?

WARNING – Beware official-looking rebate firms. If you claim via the official website, it's FREE and you keep your entire rebate. So there's no need to use reclaim sites that provide the same service for a fee. One firm we saw charges a whopping 30% + £30 + VAT, meaning it could eat up a big chunk of a £60 rebate – or even leave you out of pocket. 

How you go about claiming uniform tax back depends on whether or not this is your first time claiming it:

Claiming for the first time (or for more than £1,000)?

You can apply online or by post. You'll need to fill in form P87 online. You can also print it out and send to: Pay As You Earn, HM Revenue & Customs, BX9 1AS. Write 'Repayment Claim' on the envelope. If applying by post, you'll need to fill in a 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:

  • 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

The form is a catch-all, so asks about other expenses you may be claiming, for instance, a company car. If you don't get any of these, just click 'No' on each page of the form that doesn't apply.

Claimed before? If so, you can phone HMRC

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.

Anything else worth knowing?

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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