Reclaim Tax on Your UNISON Subscriptions, Professional Body Registration & Uniform Laundry

If you wear a uniform at work, and have to wash, repair or replace it yourself, you may be able to reclaim £100’s of tax for up to five years of expenses.

To be able to claim tax relief, ALL of the following must apply:

  • You wear a recognisable uniform that shows you’ve got a certain job, like a branded T-shirt, care provider, maintenance or fire service uniform.
  • Your employer requires you to wear it while you’re working.
  • You have to purchase, 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 this maintenance.
  • You paid income tax in the year you are claiming for.

The amount you’re able to claim tax relief on depends on your industry. The standard flat rate expense allowance (FREA) for uniform maintenance is £60 (for 2018/19) – so basic-rate taxpayers can claim £12 back (20% of £60), and higher-rate payers £24 (40% of £60). The £60 is a flat rate, so you don’t need to record and report the individual amounts you spend.

Most people can claim back within the past four years, so back to 2014 – plus the current year (five years all together) – if you’ve been wearing the uniform all that time. So a basic-rate taxpayer, claiming the standard uniform allowance for 2014-2018/19, could reclaim £60 in total.

Once you’ve registered, your tax code will change, so you’ll be taxed less in the future. However, if your employer has paid back your expenses, you can’t claim tax relief.

Some occupations have more specific limits, often to do with specialist uniforms, with the maximum allowance of £185. A higher-rate taxpayer would get back £74 tax on that for each year they claim (basic rate £37)  Check on www.hrmc.gov.uk for a full list of occupations.

To apply please complete Tax Claim Form 2018-19 and return to your local Tax Office.