Some jobs require you to wear uniforms, and there are a lot of extra costs that come with having to wear your uniform. But should you have to foot the bill for it?
These days, it’s crucial that we try to increase our income and reduce our outgoings, and claiming back some money on accrued expenses is one way to help us out with that.
But, how exactly do you go about claiming back uniform tax? Claiming any tax back is difficult, isn’t it?
Well, maybe not. This article will discuss what uniform tax is, who can claim it back and why you should claim it back. So, let’s get started!
What Does Uniform Tax Mean?
Many people wear uniforms to perform their jobs. It might be a stipulation or job specific requirement.
As a result, people that have to wear uniforms have to pay for things like the upkeep of the uniforms, such as repairs or replacements.
More often though, people have to spend money having their uniforms cleaned and ironed for everyday use. These requirements come at a cost – nothing is ever free in life. So, you’re entitled to claim some of these costs back.
What Does It Mean To Claim It Back?
Claiming back some of the costs associated with your uniform is known as a uniform tax rebate or HMRC uniform allowance.
Unlike some other taxes, you cannot expect a letter to come through the door telling you that you are entitled to X amount of pounds. You have to apply to get some of your money back.
Who Can Claim Uniform Tax Back?
This is where some people fall down when it comes to trying to claim for uniform tax rebates. There are a number of different rules and stipulations for what is classified as a uniform, and whether or not it is essential to work.
Typically, to be eligible for claiming back uniform tax, you need to:
- Have a uniform or special type of clothing that is specific and required for you to perform your job. This does not need to be a “uniform” as such. For example, you might be a performer or a clown. **
** It’s essential to note here that if you work in finance, the media or work in a role that requires you to wear “smart” or “appropriate” clothing – you’re probably unlikely to receive a rebate for uniform tax.
- Be paying for the expenses associated with your uniform, such as laundry, ironing or repairs. It is impossible to get tax relief on something if you’re not paying for it initially.
- Currently paying income tax
You normally cannot receive a rebate on the first time you got it or acquisition of the uniform, but any associated costs to the uniform are normally fine to claim for.
There are sometimes where it is argued that you cannot claim a uniform tax rebate, but this is something you’d need to speak with a professional about.
Grey areas like if you could wear the uniform or other clothing for work outside of the workplace are matters for debate.
Another matter which is difficult to assess is whether you’re in the armed services or not. They generally operate differently, so you would need to speak with someone in finance or HR in your military role.
How Much Would I Get Paid Back?
It depends on how much tax you were paying in the first place and what your role is at work.
However, you can imagine anywhere between 20% and 40% of your tax back, but it’s not black and white here.
For example, NHS workers are likely able to reclaim much more than this back due to the nature of their job, but this will depend on their role.
How Would I Start Making A Claim?
It’s always worth making a claim, even if you are totally unsure about whether or not you’re entitled to or not. Just be sure you’re not trying to commit tax fraud by lying on your application.
You would visit the government website and read the information provided carefully.
After reading the information, if you believe you might be entitled to tax relief on your uniform or essential work clothing, click the “start now” or “check if you’re eligible” button and go from there.
Normally, the process doesn’t take too long and you should receive updates on your application.
Can I Claim For Other Expenses?
Expenses that you incur that are essential to work, you can likely make a claim for tax relief on.
This can be tools, transport, subscription fees, the purchase of essential equipment or energy bills due to working from home.
Everybody’s situation is different and what tax band you’re in, along with the nature of your job and other personal circumstances will all come into play – so exercise caution when thinking what you can claim back.
What Exactly Is Work Specific Clothing?
Work specific clothing is clothing that you have to have to complete the nature of your job, and the upkeep of it is also essential to your role.
If for example, you’re a PE teacher – you may have to wear sports clothing for your job, along with a school t-shirt or badge. You would, in this instance, be entitled to uniform tax relief.
There’s a lot of different facets to it, as we said earlier – you could be a clown and the uniform is the clown costume which is essential to your job, so it’s a case of understanding if your clothing is essential to work and if you’re paying for it in the first place.
The Bottom Line
Uniform tax rebates are a happy thing to receive, so knowing how you can do it is essential – particularly in trying financial times. We hope this article has been of use to you!