The HMRC Uniform Tax Rebate is available to people who buy their own uniforms to do their jobs. It is a tax rebate that covers the cost of washing, repairing and replacing work uniforms.
The HMRC Uniform Tax Rebate does NOT cover the initial cost of a uniform.
This guide covers the steps you need to take to:
- Check your eligibility for the Uniform Tax Rebate;
- Working out how much you can claim;
- How you find and complete the right HMRC forms to make your claim;
- Includes top tax tips on how many years you can claim for;
- Show you where to get help if you have problems or questions with claiming your HMRC uniform tax rebate.
Are You Eligible to Claim for the HMRC Uniform Tax Rebate?
HMRC sets out strict rules covering who is eligible to claim and what the uniform tax rebate covers.
Here’s a summary of the HMRC rules:
- You must be employed, different rules apply if you are self employed;
- The tax rebate claim is for replacement and repairs not the initial cost of your uniform;
- You must have paid tax in the year that you spent money on your uniform;
- Your uniform must be ONLY used for your work, you cannot claim for things you use in your private life;
- You must have paid for the costs yourself. If your employer has reimbursed you, you are not eligible to claim for a rebate;
- You cannot claim for a rebate if you employer provides you with an alternative but you chose not to use it. For example if your employer provides laundering facilities but you opt to wash your uniform at home then you cannot claim a rebate for washing your uniform.
Typical Occupations that may be Eligible for HMRC Tax Rebates
Generally anyone who is expected to wear a specific uniform for their job can make a claim for a tax rebate. Here are some example eligible occupations:
- NHS & healthcare workers
- Care assistants
- Airline staff
- Pharmacy workers
- Police workers
- Construction workers
- Prison staff
If your occupation does not appear on the list or you are unsure of your eligibility then call HMRC. Their number is 0300 200 3300. Incorrect claims can result in penalties.
How Much Can You Claim for the HMRC Uniform Tax Rebate
There are two ways to claim for a tax rebate.
- For what you have spent and you’ll need to keep receipts or;
- A Flat Rate Deduction at a set amount fixed by HMRC.
Flat Rate Deductions
HMRC have set rates that they feel reflect the cost of washing/repairing/replacing uniforms by occupation.
The flat rate deduction you can claim is set by HMRC according to your occupation. Here are some examples:
- Joiners & Carpenters £140
- Labourers £80
- Ambulance Staff £185
- Uniformed prison officers £80
You can find the full list on HMRCs own website HERE so check for your own occupation and flat rates deductions.
If your occupation isn’t listed you can claim a standard annual amount of £60.
You don’t need to keep records of what you’ve paid for if you claim a flat rate deduction.
How Much Tax Do You Actually Get Back
The amount you receive back depends on the tax rate you pay.
So if you choose to claim the standard flat rate deduction of £60 and pay tax at a rate of 20%, you will receive a £12 tax rebate (£60 x 20%).
You receive your tax rebate through your tax code. You and your employer will receive a letter from HMRC notifying you of a change in your tax code. This change will mean that your employer will amend the amount of tax they deduct from your pay to ensure that you receive your uniform tax rebate from HMRC.
How to Claim for Your HMRC Tax Rebate for Washing Your Uniform
There are several different ways to make your claim depending on your circumstances.
Tax Rebate Claims Up to £2,500
- Completing a P87 form online HERE and returning the form by post to the address included at the end of the form;
- Online by either creating an online account or accessing your exiting HMRC account HERE;
- Phoning HMRC on 0300 200 3300 if you have claimed successfully before using a P87. (Make sure you have your national insurance number ready);
- On a self assessment tax return, if you complete one already for other reasons.
Tax Rebate Claims over £2,500
If you claim is for over £2,500 then you need to complete a self assessment tax return form.
To do this you’ll need to register with HMRC HERE in order to complete your self assessment tax return online.
The HMRC registration process can take up to 10 days and once it is completed you will receive a letter from HMRC with your UTR number (Unique Taxpayers Reference).
Keep your HMRC login details and UTR number safe because you’ll need them to file your Self Assessment Tax Return.
How Many Years Can Be Claimed
If this is the first time you have claimed for the uniform tax rebate then you should be aware that HMRC states you can claim within 4 years of the end of the tax year that you spent the money.
This means if you have missed any claims in the previous 4 years you should be able to claim retrospectively for your missed tax rebates.
It is advisable to call HMRC on 0300 200 3300 to discuss historic claims before you submit them.