Nearly every day I see a post on Facebook about reclaiming tax for wearing a uniform at work. Yet these companies will charge you, either a fixed fee or a percentage of any reclaims, just for sending a simple letter on your behalf.
But what most people don’t realise, is that it is so simple and easy to do it yourself for free!
I’m actually blocked from commenting on a lot of these posts because I keep telling people that they can do it themselves. Why pay for something you can do?
It’s really easy and simple to do, as long as ALL of the following apply
- You wear a recognisable uniform that shows you’ve got a certain job, like a branded t-shirt or police uniform. (Although some people have managed to reclaim even if they wear plain clothes, without a logo that you only wear for work may count)
- Your employer requires you to wear it whilst you’re working
- You have to pay to clean, repair or replace it yourself. However, you can’t claim if your employer washes your kit, provides facilities to do so (even if you don’t use them) or pays you for doing washing your uniform.
- You paid income tax in the year you are claiming for
How much could I get?
The amount you’re able to claim depends on your industry. The standard, flat-rate allowance for uniform maintenance is £60 (for 2017/2018). So basic-rate taxpayers can claim £12 back (20% of £60) and higher-rate taxpayers £24 (40% of £60). The £60 is a flat rate so you don’t need to record and report the individual amounts you spend.
Most people can claim back within the past four years, so back to 2013 plus the current year provided you’ve been wearing a uniform all that time. So a basic-rate taxpayer, claiming the standard uniform allowance for 2013-2017, could reclaim £60 in total.
Once you’ve registered, your tax code will change, so you’ll be taxed less in the future. However, if your employer has paid back your expenses, you can’t claim tax relief.
Some occupations, you can see the full list here, have more specific limits. These are often specialist uniforms and the maximum allowance is £185. This means that a high-rate taxpayer would get back £74 tax for each year they claim.
How do I claim?
If this is your first time claiming a tax allowance, then you’ll need to fill in a form and make your claim either online or by post.
Claiming for the first time
Fill in the P87 form online, you can submit it online or print it out and send it to
Pay As You Earn
HM Revenue and Customs
Write “Repayment Claim” on the envelope to speed things up. You’ll need to fill in one form for each year you’re claiming for.
If you need the form in an alternative format you can contact the HMRC helpline on 0300 200 3300
The information needed is;
- Employer’s name and address
- Your occupation, job title and industry sector
- Your details, including your National Insurance Number and your PAYE reference
- Whether you’re claiming flat rate expenses (usually you will be if not, you’ll need detailed records of costs)
- How you want to be paid – into your back or a cheque
If you have previously claimed, then your tax code will be adjusted in future years to take account of your costs, so you won’t need to reclaim again. If this doesn’t happen and you’ve claimed before then you can claim over the phone on 0300 200 3300
It really is that simple!
With a little time and effort, you can quickly claim yourself and avoided paying the scam artists who are all over Facebook. I did for my dad and my husband and they both received a rebate!
Please share and pass on this message as no one needs to pay when they can do it themselves!
A massive thanks go to Martin Lewis and the team at MoneySavingExpert for all the information contained in this blog post. I thoroughly recommend signing up for his weekly email.