If you wear a uniform or protective clothing to work you may be able to reclaim £100’s in tax from HMRC by applying for a uniform tax refund.
HMRC do not provide this allowance automatically. You must apply for it by the relevant deadline in order to receive it.
The great news is that it only takes a couple of minutes to apply and you can even back-date your claim to include your previous jobs during the last 4 years. You won’t even need to provide any receipts or send any additional paperwork.
When you make a backdated claim for this allowance, your tax for previous years is recalculated with the new higher allowance and the tax saving is refunded to you.
Who is eligible for a uniform tax refund?
You can apply for a uniform tax refund if you meet the following criteria:
- You wear a recognisable uniform to work (see below for what this means).
- You have to wash your uniform at your own expense (i.e. your employer doesn’t provide free laundry facilities or reimburse you for the cleaning costs)
- You paid tax in the year you’re claiming for.
How much can I claim for washing my uniform?
The amount you can claim depends on your occupation. The minimum allowance is £60 and the highest is £1170 per year (remember you can back date for the last 4 years too).
For certain professions, HMRC has agreed higher allowances. Use our tax rebate calculator to calculate how much you are entitled to based on your circumstances.
What counts as a uniform?
According to HMRC, A uniform for tax purposes is essentially any item of clothing that identifies you as an employee of a particular workplace. This can be company-branded clothing or a highly distinctive uniform.
Company branded uniform
This could be any item of clothing that contains your employer’s logo or branding, meaning you could only wear it to work. Even a basic T-shirt or top with a company logo would count.
Highly distinctive uniform
These are items of clothing that are so distinctive that, despite not having a company logo, would clearly identify your employer or job role. For example, a Nurses tunic, a lab coat or chef whites would all count as a uniform.
How does the uniform tax allowance work?
Most people in the UK benefit from a tax free personal allowance – for 2022/23 this is £12,750. This is how much money you earn before you start paying tax.
The uniform tax allowance works by increasing your personal allowance which means you pay less tax on your income.
Your tax code is also amended with a higher tax-free allowance, meaning you pay less tax each month going forwards (while you remain in the same job). This saves you having to apply each year.
Don’t forget about other allowances!
As well as a uniform cleaning allowance, we can also help you claim a tax rebate for most expenses you have incurred as part of your job. For example, HMRC will usually allow you to claim back 20% of the cost of any equipment or tools purchased, as well as fees paid to professional organisations such as Unison, NMC, RCN and HCPC.