How to claim the uniform tax rebate for washing, repairing and replacing a uniform or safety clothing you wear for work that your employer doesn’t contribute to.
Friendly Disclaimer: Whilst I am an accountant, I’m not your accountant. The information in this article is legally correct but it is for guidance and information purposes only. Everyone’s situation is different and unique so you’ll need to use your own best judgement when applying the advice that I give to your situation. If you are unsure or have a question be sure to contact a qualified professional because mistakes can result in penalties.
Who Can Claim a Uniform Tax Rebate?
To be eligible for a tax rebate for replacing, repairing and washing your uniform you must:
- Be employed and receive a payslip (different rules apply if you are self-employed);
- Have paid income tax in the tax year** that you wish the claim the rebate for;
- Have paid for the costs yourself and not been reimbursed;
- Not have been provided with an alternative option but chosen not to use it (for example if your employer provides laundry facilities but you opt to wash your uniform at home);
- Not be claiming for your personal clothing and things you wear every day.
**the tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April each year
The uniform tax rebate is often claimed by:
- NHS & care workers
- Airline staff
- Pharmacy workers
- Police workers
- Construction workers
- Prison staff
How Much Can You Claim for the Uniform Tax Rebate?
The tax rebate you can claim is based on:
- The cost of replacing, maintaining and washing your uniform;
- The highest rate of income tax you pay.
The uniform tax rebate does not cover the cost of your initial uniform purchase.
HMRC lets you choose from two ways to work out the cost of washing, replacing and maintaining your uniform:
- Actual cost method
- Flat rate method
If you choose to use the actual cost method, you’ll need to keep receipts as evidence of what you have paid. This can get complicated, especially if you want to claim a tax rebate for washing your uniform.
To make things easier you can use the flat rate method, where you claim a fixed amount depending on your job, set by HMRC meaning you don’t need to keep receipts.
Here are some examples of the flat rates for claiming the uniform tax rebate:
- Joiners & Carpenters £140
- Labourers £80
- Nurses £125
- Ambulance Staff £185
- Uniformed prison officers £80
Take a look at the HMRC website to find the flat rate applicable to you.
Once you have your flat rate, you can calculate the tax rebate you’ll receive by multiplying the amount by the highest tax rate your pay.
Here’s an example:
Looking at the HMRC website you find you’re entitled to a flat rate for washing your uniform of £185. You check your payslip and find out that the highest rate of tax you pay is 40%. You’ll receive a tax rebate of £74 (£185 x 40%).
How to Claim Your Uniform Tax Rebate
How you claim the uniform tax rebate depends on the amount you are claiming and your circumstances:
Claims Up to £2,500
- By Post: you’ll need to complete a P87 form online and post it to the address shown at the end of the form;
- Go Online: use the HMRC online tool to claim employment expenses including the uniform tax rebate:
- By Phone: if you have already made a claim in the past, call HMRC on 0300 200 3300 (have your national insurance number ready);
- On a self-assessment tax return, if you are self-employed or complete one for other reasons.
Claims Over £2,500
If your claim is for over £2,500, then you need to complete a tax return.
How You Get Your Tax Back
Once your uniform tax rebate is approved by HMRC, both you and your employer will receive a P6 notification from HMRC notifying you of a change to your tax code. Your employer will then change your tax code and you’ll receive your tax back through your payslip.
Claiming Backdated Uniform Tax Refund
You can backdate your uniform tax rebate by 4 years. It is recommended to call HMRC on their tax rebate number 0300 200 3300 to discuss backdated claims before you submit them.