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Uniform tax rebate – money for nothing and your kit for free

Millions of workers pull on their uniform every morning and don’t think a thing about it, but did you know you could claim 5 year’s worth of tax relief for it?

If you wear a uniform for work and have to wash, repair or replace it yourself, you may be able to claim a tax refund backdated up to 5 years.
As with so many things, claims companies have jumped on the bandwagon to cream off their share, but there is no need to get them involved; it’s really easy to claim it back yourself.

Am I eligible for a uniform tax rebate?

In order to claim tax relief, all of the following must apply:

  • You wear a uniform that identifies you with your job – this can be anything from a branded T-shirt or PPE to chef’s whites to a nurse’s uniform
  • You are required to wear it while you are working – it must be wholly and exclusively for that purpose
  • You have to buy, clean, repair or replace it yourself
  • You paid income tax in the year that you are claiming for

How much could I get?

The standard flat rate expenses allowance for uniform maintenance is £60 (for 2017/18) – so basic-rate taxpayers can claim £12 (20% of £60) and higher-rate taxpayers can claim £24 (40% of £60).
You can claim back for the past four years, plus the current year. So a basic-rate taxpayer, claiming the flat rate allowance for tax years 2013-2017, could get a refund of £60 in total – money that’s better off in your pocket than HMRC’s!

Some industries have specific allowances other than the £60 flat rate. Click here to see if your occupation is listed.

Once you have claimed for the first time your tax code will be adjusted to take into account the uniform allowance for future years, so you won’t need to claim again.

How do I claim?

You’ll need to complete a P87 form and submit it to HMRC. You can either submit it online here or print it out and send it to:

Pay As You Earn

Once your claim has been received and processed, you will receive a letter telling you how much you are due to be refunded and when it will be paid.

Self-assessment – help when you need it

The above is the easiest way to claim back tax relief for the upkeep of your work uniform. However if you do a self-assessment anyway, you can also include the flat rate uniform allowance on your tax return, but only for the tax year you are completing it for.

If you are an employee of an umbrella company, and that is your only income, you shouldn’t be required to complete a self-assessment. However if you have any other income which hasn’t been taxed, you will need to submit one to HMRC by 31st January 2018 (for tax year 2016-17).

Our partners at Boox Accounting can help. They offer a complete self-assessment service, saving you time and costly mistakes. To find out more and get started with your 2016-17 return, just click on the link below.