How to Claim a Tax Rebate if you Wash your Work Uniform at Home…
If you wear a uniform for work, it is likely that you wash it yourself at home. If this is the case, or you are required to repair or replace the uniform at your own expense, then you may be able to reclaim tax for these expenses. Claims can be made dating back five years. You can make a claim whether you wear a full uniform or just a branded T-shirt. Making a claim is free, and there is no need to pay a claims company to do this on your behalf.
Am I Eligible For A Tax Rebate?…
You must meet all of the following criteria in order to be eligible for a rebate.
- You wear a uniform that makes it clear what your job is. This covers people that wear a full uniform such as nurses and those that wear shirts or T-shirts with the company name on. Some people have also been able to claim for plain clothes that they exclusively wear for work. There is no guarantee that this will work, but it is always worth a try.
- You are required to wear the uniform while you are working.
- You are responsible for either purchasing, cleaning, repairing or replacing the uniform yourself. You can’t claim if your employer cleans your uniform or provides you with facilities or doing so, or if they pay you for maintenance of your uniform.
- You have paid income tax in the year that you are claiming for.
If you are in the armed forces, then your tax code already reflects the fact that you maintain your own uniform. Your tax-free personal allowance will be higher to compensate for these expenses. This means you do not need to make a separate claim.
If you are in the police force, then you will need to check the arrangements that your force has in place. This allowance may already be included in your tax code, but in some areas you will need to make your own application.
The self-employed can claim for uniform and laundry expenses as part of their self-assessment tax return.
How Much Of A Refund Could I Get?…
This largely depends on the industry that you work in, as the amount you can claim relief on will vary. Most people will be able to claim the standard flat rate which is £60.
You can claim back 20% of this amount if you are a basic-rate taxpayer, and 40% if you pay tax at the higher rate. This means you can claim £12 or £24 a year respectively. You do not need to submit a breakdown of expenses because the allowance is paid at a flat rate.
You are able to claim for the current year, but also back date your claim for the previous four years as well. This means you will receive five years worth of refunds. This will only apply if you have a had a job where you need to wear a uniform throughout these five years.
Once you have made your claim, then your tax code should change in the future to reflect this change. If your expenses have already been paid by your employer, then you are unable to claim tax relief.
There are higher limits for people in professions that require them to wear a specialised uniform. Ambulance staff, for example, have a maximum allowance of £185 which would allow staff on basic rate to claim back £37 each year, and £74 for higher-rate taxpayers. Nurses are also able to claim for shoes and tights, which does not apply to most other professions. HMRC have a full list of occupations and the maximum allowance that can be claimed on their website.
If you can prove that your laundry bill is higher than the maximum allowance for your profession, then you may be able to get an amount that is more than the standard payment. You will need to keep receipts to prove how much you have spent and make your claim through the ‘P87’ form.
How Do I Claim The Tax Back?…
The first time that you make a claim, you will need to fill out a P87 form from the HMRC website which can either be completed online, or printed out and filled in by hand. You will also need to use this method if you are making a claim for more than £1000.
You may have seen adverts from claims handlers that offer to complete this paperwork for you for a fee. In most cases, this is a waste of money because it is not difficult or time-consuming to complete the paperwork yourself and you can do it all for free
- The form will require you to provide information on:
- The name and address of your employer.
- Your occupation, job title and the industry you work in.
- Your PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) reference and your national insurance number.
- If you are claiming flat-rate expenses or if you will be submitting receipts and a breakdown of costs to claim a higher amount.
- Whether you would prefer to be paid by cheque or directly into a bank account.
This form is used to claim all expenses and so if there is anything that is not relevant just enter ‘No’ on any pages that are not applicable.
Once the form has been completed you will need to send it to Pay As You Earn, HM Revenue & Customs, BX9 1AS. If you write ‘Repayment Claim’ on the envelope, then this may help to speed things up.
Have You Reclaimed Before?…
If you have submitted a reclaim before, then your tax code should automatically be adjusted for future years. If this has not happened then you can make a new claim over the phone as long as the claim is not for an amount over £1000. Claims can be made by calling 0300 200 3310 between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Saturday and 8am to 4pm on Sunday.
You may be sent a P810 ‘Tax Review’ form by HMRC at some point during the tax year to make sure that your tax code is correct. You can also use this form to claim tax relief as long as the claim is below £1000 and you have not changed jobs midway through the year. If any of these do apply, then there are additional forms to fill in.