IF you have to spend money on a work uniform, which you don’t get back from your employer, you may be able to claim hundreds of pounds in tax relief.
There are lots of other things you can claim for too – not just uniforms – and as you can backdate claims for five years, you could end up with a hefty payout.
Getty – Contributor Workers, such as nurses, who wear uniforms can often claim money back from the government
Claim for uniform costs
If you wear a uniform to work, you should be able to to claim some money back, as long as your employer doesn’t pay for your uniform.
How much you can get depends on the type of work you do.
For instance, pilots and uniformed flight desk crews can claim back up to £1,022 a year. Cabin crew can claim up to £720 a year.
People in the Army, RAF or Royal Marines can claim back up to £100 a year.
Nurses and midwives can claim back up to £125 a year for their uniform and may also get an allowance for shoes and stockings or tights.
To find out if your job is eligible, check the Government’s website.
Even if your occupation isn’t listed, you may still be able to claim tax relief for the upkeep, cleaning or replacement of specialist or protective equipment, such as overalls, safety boots or hard hats. You can claim up to £60 a year.
The cost of small tools, such as scissors or drills, can be recovered too, although you can’t claim for the initial cost of buying them. Instead, you can claim back against any repairs or replacements.
Taxpayers who have to fund the cleaning, repairing or replacement of uniforms or safety clothing out of their own pocket should be eligible to make a claim.
Claim for travel costs
It’s not just clothing either, people who use a vehicle for their job may also be able to make a claim.
You won’t get money back on your daily commute (unless it’s to a temporary workplace) but you can get relief on your fuel costs when driving for work.
If your employer reimburses you for some of the money you spend, you can still get relief on the difference.
PA:Press Association You can get money back on your fuel costs if you drive for work
If you’re using your own car or van, you get 45p a mile for the first 10,000 miles in the tax year and 25p a mile for any additional miles that year.
People who travel for work may also be able to claim for food or overnight expenses. This isn’t just available for people who drive – anyone who travels for work can claim.
This includes money spent on things such as public transport (not your commute), hotel accommodation, food and drink, congestion charges and tolls, parking fees and business phone calls and printing costs.Claim for other business expenses
There are other work things you may be able to claim for if you pay out of your own pocket.
For instance, you can claim on fees and subscriptions to approved professional organisations if you need to be a member or it relates to your job.
This includes organisations such as the National Union of Teachers, the British Association of Critical Care Nurses and the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers.
Check the full list of organisations here.
In most cases, you can claim tax relief on the full cost of substantial equipment, for example computers or machinery, that you have to buy for work.
This is because they qualify for a type of capital allowance called annual investment allowance.
There are different ways to claim tax relief depending on your circumstances.
The easiest way is to go through the Government website. Check whether you are able to use its online form.
If you’re claiming for more than £2,500, you’ll need to self-assess, and if you are applying for more than five jobs you’ll need to apply by post.
You can claim by phone if you’ve already claimed expenses in a previous year and your total expenses are less than either:
£2,500 for professional fees and subscriptions
Whichever way you’re paying, make sure you have records and receipts to hand to prove how much you’ve spent.
If you’re claiming for vehicle use you’ll also needs records of your business mileage, including locations, distances travelled and any mile allowance payments you’ve received.
If your employer has partially paid any of your expenses, make sure you deduct it.
Otherwise, you can apply using this online form.
Claiming is free, but there are lots of online services popping up which will charge you a hefty fee to do it for you.
They often ask for 30 per cent of your rebate, but some charge a minimum of £45 which could wipe out a smaller claim entirely.
85 per cent of eligible taxpayers currently pay agents to claim their money. But those who are paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) could claim the full amount of tax relief they are owed directly from HMRC.
Angela MacDonald, Director General of Customer Services at HMRC, said: “This is the easiest and quickest way to claim back tax relief on expenses.
“Tax relief isn’t available for all employment expenses which is why the online Check If You Can Claim tool is so handy – you can be reassured your claim will be approved and your full tax relief will be paid directly in to your bank account.
“We know what a difference tax relief can make to hard working customers, which is why we’re keen to make sure they get all the relief their entitled to by using our online service.”
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If you’re married or in a civil partnership you could be entitled to tax breaks worth up to £900.
Lower earners are also often entitled to tax credits. The system is complicated, but we boil it down here to work out exactly what you can get.
Often the rules around tax relief and tax credits change in the budget. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s including what’s predicted to change.
Could YOU claim up to £150 towards your kid’s school uniform from your council? Find out if you qualify
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