Sunday, 24 February 2013

Reclaim Tax For Wearing A Uniform At Work

Nearly every day I see a post on Facebook about reclaiming tax for wearing a uniform at work but what people don't realise is that they charge you for just sending a letter, a letter you can easily send yourself! In fact most of these sites have blocked me from commentating on them because I tell people to do it themselves. 

It's really easy and simple to do, as long 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 while 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 maintenance.
  • You paid income tax in the year you are claiming for you work?
However if you are in the Armed Forces then you needn't bother going through this process as the cost paid for the maintenance of their uniforms should be dealt with through their tax code with their tax-free personal allowance being raised to compensate for the outlay. 

If you can say yes to all of the above then the next step is really easy to do and only costs the price of a stamp! You just need to write to;
HM Revenue and Customs
Pay As You Earn
PO Box 1970
L75 1WX
Write "Repayment Claim" on the envelope to speed things up. 

The letter should include and mention the following (where applicable)
  • Employer's name and address and dates of employment for the past four years.
  • Your occupation, job title, industry sector and national insurance number
  • Details of any laundry or cleaning services provided by your employer (if any)
  • Details, if any, of payment or vouchers provided by your employer to cover laundy or other costs. 
  • Why your uniform can't be worm outside work (i.e it includes the company logo)
  • Whether you want the rebate to be deducted from the current year's tax or you would like a cheque. 
You can claim for the past 4 years and it will take up to 5 weeks for the claim to be processed. How much you can claim back depends on how much tax you pay. Basic taxpayers can reclaim £12 back per year and higher rate tax payers can claim £24. Some occupations do pay more, especially if you have a specialist uniform which means a higher rate tax payer would get back £56 per year. Check the full list of occupations to see if yours is listed. 

It really is that easy and quick to do and both my husband and father have reclaimed their tax (thanks to my letter writing skills!). So why pay a claims handler (like one of the ones advertised on Facebook) £10+ when you can do it yourself for FREE just by writing a letter!!!

Please share and pass on this message as no one needs to pay when they can do it themselves!

A massive thanks goes to Martin Lewis and the team at MoneySavingExpert for all the information contained in this blog post. I thoroughly recommend signing up to his weekly email

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