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Could You Claim a Uniform Tax Refund?

Updated: Mar 16

Do you wear a uniform for your job? Yes? Well, listen up. If you are tasked with washing, repairing or replacing it yourself, you could be able to claim back £100's worth of tax.


In fact, according to some statistics, around 2 in 3 uniform-wearing employees can get a rebate. But if you don't claim it, you'll lose it.


Whether it's a simple t-shirt branded with your companies logo or a full nurses uniform, you can easily claim tax back.



So, are you eligible?


- Your employer requires you to wear your uniform while working

- You paid income tax in the year you're claiming for

- You have to purchase, clean, repair or replace it yourself

- Your uniform is recognisable as uniform


However, if your employer pays for maintenance, washes your uniform or provides the facilities to do so then you can't claim this tax back.


What can you claim on?


- Cleaning your uniform

- Repairing to replacing small tools to do the job, i.e. scissors

- Cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing's, i.e. safety boots


So, how does HMRC define a uniform?


Well:


A uniform is a set of specialised clothing that’s recognisable as identifying someone as having a particular occupation, for example, nurse or police uniforms.

A uniform is not plain clothes that you must wear for work. For example, if you're asked to wear a shirt at a bank or black clothing at a cafe. Essentially, you can't reclaim tax relief on everyday clothing even if you wear it for work.


Only nurses and midwives can claim for replacing shoes, socks and underwear.


Reclaiming can be done by claiming a flat rate or an exact amount. You will only need to keep receipts when you're claiming back the exact amount that you have spent on uniform expenses.


Click here to check if you can claim back uniform expenses.


How much can I reclaim?


This number varies between industries. The standard flat-rate expense allowance for uniform maintenance is £60 (2019/20). So, if you're a basic-rate taxpayer, you can claim 20% of this back: £12.


If you've been wearing a uniform for the whole time most people will be able to claim back for the past 4 tax years alongside this current tax year.


How do I reclaim?


If this is your first time claiming a tax allowance you'll need to fill in a form and make your claim online or by post. You'll also need to fill in the form if the amount you're reclaiming is over £1000.


Click here to access the P87 form to reclaim tax relief of money you've spent on things like a uniform. You can fill it out online or print it out and send it to HMRC.


If you've reclaimed before then your tax code will be adjusted so you won't have to reclaim again. However, if this doesn't happen then you can give HMRC a call to reclaim your uniform tax.


Self-employed?


Different rules apply to self-employed individuals. You can claim an allowable business expense for uniforms, protective clothing or costumes (for actors or entertainers) when filling in your self-assessment tax return.

For more information and advice, get in touch with Catherine today. Give her a call on 01423 431889 or email catherine@bctaccountants.co.uk.

Please note: all stats are accurate for the 2019/20 tax year.

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