How to claim back tax on your work uniform

claim tax on work uniform

If you wear a uniform for work, or you’re a business considering the purchase of new uniforms did you know that you are entitled to £100s back in tax for up to five years of expenses? From branded t-shirts to airline uniforms you can claim it back. 

In our blog today, we are going to take a look at who is eligible for a tax rebate and how you can claim it back. 

Uniforms of all kinds are eligible 

Here’s the thing, with more businesses going down the route of uniforms, what you may not know is that you are eligible for a tax rebate on maintaining that uniform. Whether it is t-shirts, shirts, outfits, if you wear one whilst you work, (yes, in some cases a simple no logo top could count) you are eligible to apply for a tax rebate. 

What are the conditions to claim tax back? 

There are a few criteria that you need to be mindful about; 

  • You are wearing a uniform associated with your place of business. This could be a branded t-shirt, shirt, sweater or full uniform such as an airline pilot or police uniform. 
  • You are required to wear it whilst you work – i.e. you cannot work without the uniform. 
  • You are responsible for keeping your uniform clean and maintained. 
  • If your employer provides facilities to do so, or cleans your uniforms, you are not entitled to apply for a tax rebate. 
  • Finally, you must have paid income tax in the year that you are claiming for. 

There are obviously some exceptions to the rule. For example if you work in the armed forces this tax relief system is dealt through their tax code. Other examples include the police force where, for some constabulary’s it depends on the internal rules that have been set up about workwear maintenance. 

Overall though, if you fit into the category of a small to medium sized enterprise – or even multinational where a uniform is required for day-to-day usage, you should be eligible to apply for a tax rebate. 

N.B For any self-employed people, you can claim back the same benefits in your tax return each year. 

How much can I claim back? 

This is all dependent on the industry where you work. As reported on Money Saving Expert, ‘the standard flat-rate expense allowance for uniform maintenance is £60 (2020/21) – if you’re a basic-rate taxpayer, you can claim 20% of this back, so £12.’ 

However there are a number of different solutions available such as, if your boss has paid back your expenses, you can claim tax relief from that and so on. Some occupations will have a greater tax relief or rebate such as ambulance drivers and nurses or midwives can also claim back on shoes, socks and tights. 

How can I claim my tax back? 

If you are a first time user of the system you will need to fill in a P87 online form and send it back to Pay As You Earn, HM Revenue & Customs, BX9 1AS. (Top tip, write on letter ‘Repayment Claim’ to speed things up.)

There are other ways to apply, please consult the HMRC website for further details

To summarise, you can claim your tax back on maintaining your uniforms. From branded t-shirts to total outfits. The system in place can give you a basic 20% back and this can be done over a maximum of 5 years worth of expenses.

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