Your employer has a fair degree of freedom to decide about employees’ dress code until that is realistic and non-biased.
Maintaining the dress code for any organization is quite reasonable
- Correct dress code makes a suitable corporate image of your organization
- It helps in the brand promotion of the organization
- Customers can easily identify the employees
As employees, do you dress in protective clothing or uniform for work, which is specialized? Are you required to wash it or purchase a new one without the help of the employer? Is it a simple shirt or an attire similar to a nurse, doctor, dentist, or pilot? If any of these points hold true, employees can claim uniform tax relief worth £100s.
Taxes are something which none of us like paying. Despite understanding how important they are and why we should pay taxes as responsible citizens, every single working individual jumps at the thought of not having to pay it. Even the thought of getting a rebate is exciting for many. To provide much relief to the UK employees, the UK government offers tax reliefs of various sorts based on the work expenditures made out of the employee’s own pockets. The option to claim a uniform tax rebate is one of these reliefs. Here’s everything you need to know about how to claim a uniform tax rebate?
What is uniform tax relief?
Today, most workplaces in the United Kingdom mandate it for their employees to wear uniforms, driven by various incentives. Now, if you are one of such employees who wear a uniform or some protective clothing to your workplace, the expenses for which you pay out of your pocket, then you are entitled to claim tax relief. It is meant to cover or provide some relief to the employees from the income tax paid to the government.
Part of the expenditure that an employee makes on buying and maintaining his uniform, without any help from the employer, is made up for by the uniform tax relief provided on the income tax.
Am I eligible for a tax rebate?
The following conditions need to be met if you want to claim this rebate:
- Your uniform must represent your job: The uniform you wear must tell the world what you do. So if it is a doctor’s uniform, a police officer’s uniform or in some cases, a uniform with the company logo, then you are good to go. Thats right, if you wear a uniform for your job you could be entitled for a tax refund.
- The expenses for its maintenance and washing are taken care of by you: If you do all the uniform maintenance including washing the uniform without getting any financial help from your employer, you are entitled to claim the uniform tax rebate.
- You should be an income tax payer: It is essential for you to pay the income tax for the year for which the tax rebate is to be claimed.
- You could claim tax relief on repairing or replacing small tools that you require to do your job. However, you are not able to claim the initial cost of clothing for work or tools.
Form P87 is your first friend
Once you are sure that you are entitled to claim tax relief on uniform tax, then the first thing that you need to do is fill uniform tax rebate form P87 and submit it to the HMRC. Rebate on the uniform tax or any other employment expenses is all filed through a uniform tax rebate form P87 which includes details like your job, work industry, employer details, National Insurance Number and the PAYE number. Make sure you provide the correct information.
To notify HMRC of any due uniform tax rebate or tax relief, you can either submit this form online or fill it, print it and post it to them at the following address:
Post submission of the online form, you get a reference number you can use to track the progress of your claim. Normally, it takes around five weeks for the claim to get processed.
However, remember not to use this form if you haven’t paid any tax during the concerned year or if your claim is more than £2500. In such case you will have to fill a Self Assessment tax return for the concerned year. If you do not file self Assessment tax return, you could be liable for fines and penalties.
Calculating the Uniform Tax Rebate
The tax relief amount you’re able to claim depends on the type of business where you are working. The normal flat-rate cost allowance for taking care of the uniform is £60 – a basic rate taxpayer can claim 20% of the normal flat rate cost allowance, i.e. £12. A higher rate taxpayer can claim 40 of the normal flat rate cost allowance, i.e. £24.
Most people can claim back within the last 4 years., so back to April 2015, plus the present year (5 years together), if they’ve been wearing the uniform all the time. Here a basic rate taxpayer, who is demanding the standard uniform allowance for the year ranging from 2015 – 2019/20, can regain an amount of £60 in total.
Claiming for the actual amount spent each year
If you feel that your expenses exceed the standard flat rate decided by the HMRC, you can opt to file a claim on the actual amount you spent over the last year and in the year you are filing a claim for. However, you need to have all the records of expenditures- the transaction receipts of your expenses to file for such a claim. Once you do, HMRC will evaluate your claim and notify you of the amount that is due to you as the Uniform tax refund.
Again, it is to be noted that you can claim the uniform tax rebate for the current year as well as claim back for the last four years, provided you have been wearing a uniform for the respective years and have also paid the income tax for those years. However, if your employer has already repaid you for your expenses, you cannot file a claim.
Filing for the first claim
Individuals claiming for the uniform tax rebate for the first time, will have to fill in P87 form with details such as job title, industry, details of employers, national insurance number (NIC), and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) number, letting HMRC identify if the person is eligible for the claim or not. Once they receive P87, with complete details, it could take up to five (5) weeks for the claim to be processed.
Check the full list of occupations to see if yours is listed.
How to claim uniform tax relief?
Before you contact the HMRC for filing your uniform tax rebate, it is a good idea to have all your details in hand and in one place. The details regarding your employer, your industry of work, financial aid provided for maintenance of your uniform, more specifically- the cleaning or laundry services offered, etc., are a few of the essential things to be kept in mind when you file/claim for a uniform tax rebate.
If you are claiming a tax rebate for the first time or paid more than £1,000, you will have to fill in the P87 form and submit it either online or via post to the HMRC. If you are filing for more than one year, each year will require a separate form.
If you have filed a claim earlier, under ideal situations, your tax code will automatically get adjusted to include your costs. However, if this automatic adjustment doesn’t happen, you can get in touch with HMRC through post or over a call on 0300 200 3310.
If an employee is filing in a self-assessment, he/she can add the amount to expenses. If not, they can claim the relief through:
- Letter – If this is the first time an employee is claiming work uniform relief, he/she must contact HMRC in writing. Address: HM Revenue & Customs, Pay As You Earn, PO Box 1970, Liverpool, L75 1WX
- Telephone – Alternate option is to contact them by telephone on 0300 200 3310. Before contacting them, the following information should be kept handy:
- Employer’s name and address
- Industry in which the employee works
- Employee’s occupation
- Details of any cleaning or laundry service provided by the employer
- Information on payment supplied by the employer to cover laundry and additional uniform costs.
Laundry allowance claims – Ministry of Defence
Below mentioned is the annual Flat Rate Expense Allowance (FREA) for laundry service:
- Army – £100
- Royal Air Force – £100
- Royal Marines – £100
- Royal Navy – £80
Uniform tax relief claim Details
For your ease, here we compile all the contact details of the authorities whom you will have to contact over the course of filing a claim for your uniform tax rebate.
Postal Address :
- Pay As You Earn
- HM Revenue and Customs
- BX9 1AS.
It is okay for you to omit the street name, city name or the PO Box number while posting your form to this specific address.
Quick Tip: Writing ‘Repayment Claim’ on top of the envelope that you are forwarding just might speed things up for you
HMRC’s Helpline number: 0300 200 3300
So if you are an employee who sadly, has to shell money out of your own pocket to meet your job’s requirements- be it for travelling or buying equipment or maintenance of your uniform- you are free to claim the Uniform tax deduction that the UK government offers to its employees. The tax rebate or relief that the HMRC offers to all the UK employees hence comes as a huge relief for the working class of today, which is more often than not mandated by its employer to wear a uniform. All the expenditure that you made on buying your uniform, your expenses on laundry and any other maintenance expenses that you incurred, can now be made up with a reduction in the effective taxes you pay. You just need to remember to file a claim within 4 years of the concerned year lest you shall lose it. And on the last note, it is always a good idea to keep a record of the expenses made on your uniform, just in case HMRC requires you to present them for verification at some point during the entire process.
If you wash the uniform given to you by your employer, you can claim tax relief except when your employer provides you with a laundering service, but you didnt use it and decide to wash your uniform yourself.
Once you submit your uniform tax rebate, it usually takes 4-12 weeks for HMRC to respond to your tax rebate claim.
You can backdate your claim to the previous four tax years, and you can also claim for a portion of the current tax year that has already passed.
The amount you can claim is determined by your job, and it can vary significantly. Uniform maintenance has a standard flat expense allowance of £60, of which you can claim 20% back if youre a basic rate taxpayer or 40% back if youre a higher rate taxpayer.
If you have stopped working during the tax year and decided not to work again before the end of the tax year, you may be able to claim back some of the income tax that you have paid without having to wait till the end of the tax year.
Also See: Outsourced Bookkeeping and Accounting