If you work as a commercial pilot you may be able to obtain a tax refund. This is because you are entitled to claim tax relief on certain costs of your employment that are deemed “wholly and necessarily” for the purposes of your employment. This basically means you can claim back for the cost of things that you needed to do your job.
Flat rate allowance
Due to an agreement made by the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) you can claim a flat rate allowance to cover the costs of certain items of equipment and uniform laundry. These are items such as sunglasses, a flight case and a duplicate passport. There is an additional amount built into the allowance for travel to medical examinations, flight simulator sessions, technical refresher sessions and emergency and fire training. In all this allowance covers £950 of annual expenditure and it’s worth £190 to £380 per year depending on the rate of tax you pay. You can claim for this expenditure when you lodge a claim through www.uniformtaxrebate.co.uk.
What about for buying my own uniform?
If you have to purchase replacement uniform items you can claim separately for these costs. You can claim for this at the same time as your www.uniformtaxrebate.co.uk claim, just enter the amounts you spent on the paper form after entering your details.
What about for buying other equipment?
Most of these expenses are covered in the flat rate allowance, however if your employer does not provide a noise cancelling headset you can also claim for the cost of this. Just note the cost of this in the boxes provided on the paper forms when you make your www.uniformtaxrebate.co.uk claim.
Do I need to provide receipts?
You shouldn’t have to provide receipts but you do need to be able to say roughly what you spent in each year. If you are claiming for a significant amount of expenditure it can help if you can provide a list of the items you purchased and their approximate cost. If you can’t remember the cost it can help to refer to an equipment store to check how much the items would cost now.
At www.uniformtaxrebate.co.uk we’ve come across a few cases where HMRC has rejected claims because receipts weren’t provided, however we have successfully contested these and obtained compensation where the claims were incorrectly rejected. If you claimed through us and HMRC rejects your claim for this reason you can return details to us and we will contest their decision.
Can I claim for my BALPA subscriptions?
You can also claim tax back on two thirds of the cost of your British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) subscriptions. As these subscription costs are related to your salary you’ll have to check your own records to find out how much you paid. Alternatively you could also contact BALPA to check this, see BALPA’s contact details below. Again, just note the cost of this in the boxes provided on the paper forms when you make your www.uniformtaxrebate.co.uk claim.
British Association of Airline Pilots:
Telephone: 020 8476 4000
Fax: 020 8476 4077
Can I backdate my claim?
You can backdate your claim to the 4 previous tax years, so if you’ve been in the job for 5 years or more you could be due a tax rebate in excess of £1,000. Even a claim for one year could net nearly £200 or more. When you claim through www.uniformtaxrebate.co.uk we can get you a cheque for the overpaid tax in these earlier years.
What about the future years?
Once you’ve claimed you should get the allowance automatically in your pay and you shouldn’t need to claim again, however if the subscriptions you pay change you may need to enter another claim to keep the allowances up to date.
How do I claim?
Just visit www.uniformtaxrebate.co.uk and enter your details to get the forms to claim. It’s really easy to do and you can complete your part of the claim in less than 5 minutes.
We’ve completed more than 100,000 tax rebate claims and by using us you are benefiting from the knowledge, expertise and experience of fully qualified tax experts.