Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert website has urged workers who wear uniform to claim back cash as they could be owed hundreds of pounds. The site, founded by the financial expert, said that exactly how much you’re owed depends on your profession.
For example, ambulance staff have specialist clothing so they’ll be entitled to more than a retail employee. If it costs more to maintain your uniform, the more tax back you’ll get.
But whether you wear a branded t-shirt or scrubs, you could be owed hundreds of pounds in tax money, LancsLive reports. It comes as experts warn there are still “serious leaks” in household finances, even though the new energy bill price cap may go a little way to help.
The new £2,500 cap on average energy bills announced by Prime Minister Liz Truss last Thursday may bring relief to households, but many will still find themselves struggling, they said. Ms Truss said the typical household will pay no more than £2,500 a year for energy from October 1 for the next two years. It had been due to rise from £1,971 to £3,549 a year under Ofgem’s latest price cap announcement.
So how does the uniform cashback claim work? The standard flat-rate price allowance for having a uniform is £60, according to Money Saving Expert.
If you claim a uniform tax refund, you’ll get back the amount of tax you would’ve paid for that £60. If you’re a basic-rate taxpayer, you’ll get £12 back per year, as that’s 20% of £60, while higher-rate taxpayers will get back £24.
As the £60 is a flat-rate allowance, you won’t be required to record and send in the individual amounts you spend. You can also backdate your claim by up to four tax years as well as the current year.
If you were a basic tax payer who wore uniform during those years, this is what you could claim:
- 2022/23 – £12
- 2021/22 – £12
- 2020/21 – £12
- 2019/20 – £12
- 2018/19 – £12
You’ll need to claim this before the next tax year begins on April 5, 2023 or risk losing out. Some occupations require more wear and tear, like ambulance staff and their maximum annual allowance for uniform is £185.
That means basic-rate tax payers would get £37 back each year they claimed, or £74 if they’re higher-rate. Nurses and midwives have an allowance of £125 but can also claim shoes and tights, and so on.
To check what you could be owed, you can search for your occupation here. The cashback goes towards the effort you make washing your uniform for work but to be able to claim tax relief, all of the following must apply:
- You wear a uniform recognisably linked to a certain job e.g. branded t-shirt, paramedic or police officer – either a logo or a company name must be recognisable to a member of public.
- You are required to wear it by your boss – in other words, you had no choice but to buy it. But if you only had to wear it for one day, don’t worry. You can still claim the entire year’s tax relief.
- You have to purchase, replace, mend or clean it yourself – you won’t be able to claim if your employer does this sometimes, though.
- You paid income tax during the year you’re claiming for.
To claim a uniform tax refund for the first time, you’ll need to fill in a P87 form and keep receipts before sending it off to HMRC