If your employer provides you with a uniform and you are expected to take care of it yourself HMRC consider that there is a cost associated with this on which you can claim tax relief. HMRC have a standard rate of £60 for this cost, which you can claim tax relief on. The tax relief is usually 20% of the allowance, plus some interest for earlier years.
You can enter a claim at www.uniformtaxrebate.co.uk.
Certain trades have a higher amount which may result in a larger refund, using our system makes provision for identifying and claiming these extra reliefs.
Which trades have their own flat expense rate for employment costs?
The following industries have specific expense allowances that may be higher than £60 a year:
Agriculture, Airlines, Aluminium, Banks and Building Societies, Brass and Copper, Building, Building Materials, Clothing, Constructional Engineering, Electrical and Electricity Supply, Trades ancillary to engineering, Fire Service, Healthcare staff in the National Health Service, private hospitals and nursing homes, Heating, Iron Mining, Iron and Steel, Leather, Particular Engineering, Police Force, Precious Metals, Printing, Prisons, Docks and Inland Waterways, Public Transport, Quarrying, Shipyards, Textiles and Textile Printing, Vehicles, Wood and Furniture.
What is a uniform for tax purposes?
In order to claim you need to be required to wear something that is “discernibly a uniform”.
What this means is, if you were out in the street would a member of the general public recognise you as wearing a uniform, or would they think you were wearing your own clothes?
Examples of clothing that would be clearly identified as a uniform are as follows:
Nurse, policeman, fireman, maid, etc.
In addition if you are required to wear clothing branded by your employer, with logos, the company name etc, this would also be a uniform. Many employers have these items, a plain polo shirt could become a uniform if it had corporate logos.
If you are required to wear protective clothing such as a high viz jacket or safety shoes you can claim for this whether it has logos or not as you are wearing it to ensure your personal safety when doing your job.
What isn’t a uniform for tax purposes?
You can’t claim tax relief for wearing your own clothes, likewise if your employer provides you with clothing you could wear normally outside of work you can’t claim for this either.
In practical terms this means if your employer provides you with a colour coded shirt or a business suit you can’t claim tax relief, unless it has corporate branding or logos displayed on the outside. These must be visible, a detachable badge would not be sufficient to turn ordinary clothing into a uniform.
Is it possible that I am already receiving this tax relief?
Some employers have engaged with the tax authorities to obtain these reliefs for certain employees, however most have not. It’s your responsibility to request tax relief where it’s due.
If you request the tax relief and you are already receiving it you won’t be defrauding the tax authorities, they will confirm this in writing. If you use our system and this happens, we won’t charge you anything.
What records will I be asked to provide by my tax office after I have submitted my claim?
Your claim should therefore go through without having any further correspondence with your tax office.
You will not need to provide details of your expenditure as the expense allowance is based on an agreed flat rate.
Will this refund be recovered from my employer?
No. The claim is made against your personal income tax liability and is recovered directly from HMR&C. No claim will be made against your employer.
How quickly will I get my refund?
Most claims are completed within 12 weeks, however, this depends on the workload at your local tax office but if you have not received any correspondence within 4 months we recommend you resubmit the forms and we can lodge a new claim with HMRC.
How will my refund be paid?
We will send you a cheque for the tax you have overpaid in previous years, minus our claim charges.
For the current year and future years you will receive more money in your payslip.
Can I claim for anything else when I make my claim that can increase my refund?