MARTIN Lewis' MoneySavingExpert has urged workers to claim back cash if they usually wear uniform.
Whether it's a branded t-shirt or scrubs, you could be owed hundreds of pounds in tax money.
As petrol prices refuse to budge, food bills are through the roof and the energy cap takes its toll soon, people are scrambling for ways to save money.
But worry not – MoneySavingExpert is claiming you can get hundreds back for up to five years' uniform expenses.
How much you're owed depends on your profession – ambulance staff have specialist clothing, for instance, so they'll be entitled to more than a retail employee.
If it costs more to maintain your uniform, you'll get more tax back.
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How does it work?
The standard flat-rate price allowance for having a uniform is £60. If you claim a uniform tax refund, you'll get back the amount of tax you would've paid for that £60.
If you're a basic-rate taxpayer, you'll get £12 back per year, because that's 20% of £60.
Higher-rate taxpayers will get back £24.
But because the £60 is a flat-rate allowance, you won't be required to record and send in the individual amounts you spend.
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You can also backdate your claim by up to four tax years as well as the current year. If you were a basic tax payer who wore uniform during those years, this is what you could claim:
- 2022/23 – £12
- 2021/22 – £12
- 2020/21 – £12
- 2019/20 – £12
- 2018/19 – £12
You'll need to claim this before the next tax year begins on 5 April 2023 or risk losing out.
Of course, some occupations require more wear and tear, like ambulance staff. Their maximum annual allowance for uniform is £185.
That means basic-rate tax payers would get £37 back each year they claimed, or £74 if they're higher-rate.
Nurses and midwives have an allowance of £125 but can also claim shoes and tights, and so on.
You can search for your occupation here to check what you could be owed.
Who is eligible?
The cashback goes towards the effort you make washing your uniform for work.
But to be able to claim tax relief, all of the following must apply to you.
You wear a uniform recognisably linked to a certain job e.g. branded t-shirt, paramedic or police officer
Either a logo or a company name must be recognisable to a member of public.
You are required to wear it by your boss
In other words, you had no choice but to buy it. But if you only had to wear it for one day, don't worry. You can still claim the entire year's tax relief.
You have to purchase, replace, mend or clean it yourself
You won't be able to claim if your employer does this sometimes, though.
You paid income tax during the year you're claiming for
Because it's supposed to reduce your tax liability, you can't claim if you haven't paid any tax that year.
How do I claim?
To claim a uniform tax refund for the first time, you'll need to keep receipts and fill in a P87 form before sending it off to HMRC here:
Pay As You Earn
HM Revenue & Customs
This is what you'll be asked:
- 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)
- How you want to be paid – into your bank account or by cheque
Your tax code should have adjusted when you last claimed if you've done it before – so you shouldn't need to fill out a form – but you can call up HMRC on 0300 200 3310 if you don't think it has.
You can do a reclaim over the phone.
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The only group of uniformed workers who can't claim the rebate are those in the armed forces – their uniform costs should be covered in their own individual tax codes.
Once HMRC processes your claim, it will send a letter back telling you how much you're eligible for and when it'll come through.
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