Uniform Tax Rebate
When employees wear uniforms it promotes a sense of equality inside an organization, because not everybody can afford professional, work-worthy clothing. If that is the case, uniforms provide a level of equality, helping all employees feel comfortable, confident and more importantly equal. It can also help reduce competition in regard to what other employees are wearing, leading to less distraction to the actual work at hand.
A uniform adds an element of safety in a variety of settings. In industrial settings, uniforms provide physical protection through flame resistant materials and protection from chemicals and similar dangers. The uniforms protect employees’ own clothing from getting dirty or damaged during the course of work. You also add a layer of safety by making all employees easily identifiable. A person who isn’t wearing a uniform stands out as a potential intruder to the workplace. You are better able to identify these outsiders and ensure they are supposed to be there.
Requiring employees to wear a uniform eliminates the need for creating and enforcing a dress code. In years past employees would usually wear similar, conservative clothing, but in today’s world workers tend to express their individuality through clothing. Enforcing a dress code is time consuming and can lead to hard feelings on the part of employees who are told that their attire is not appropriate for the workplace.
Another benefits of wearing a uniform is that it promotes the company’s brand. Consumers can make a near-instant connection to a company’s corporate identity through corporate clothing, providing employees with custom embroidered polo shirts, hats, jackets, and uniforms our makes them a living, breathing representations of your company. Not only does this become a form of free advertisement, but now, your employee is a true brand ambassador for your organization.
So if have to wear a Uniform to work such as a firemen Uniform or a uniform with your company’s logo on it and you must pay for the cost of washing and repairing it yourself, then you can claim a refund from the HMRC for all these expenses.
You may be entitled to claim a tax rebate in relation to your work uniform. There are applicable tax credits for work uniform expenses however these only apply in certain instances:
- You supply and launder your own uniform
- You supply your own uniform but it is laundered for free
- You are required to launder a uniform that is supplied for you
- If you have to buy your own shoes and clothes for work. If your employer has not given you an allowance for such purchases, and this uniform is only used for work, you can claim for a tax refund.
You can claim for the last four years plus the current year, as long as you’ve been wearing the uniform for this length of time.
You can also claim for clothing and footwear that you wear to protect yourself from the risk of illness or injury posed by your income-earning activities or the environment in which you are required to carry them out. To be considered protective, the items must provide a sufficient degree of protection against that risk.
You can also claim for plain clothes that you wear only for work. However, the responsibility of buying, washing, repairing or replacing the uniform is entirely up to you, you should not be getting any allowance from your employer to wash your uniform.
The amount this of refund you can get may varies depending on the type of industry you work for. The Standard flat rate expense allowance (FREA) for general uniform maintenance is £60 for the 2016/2017 tax season. For some certain occupations the flat-rate is lifted and can be increased up to a maximum of £140 flat-rate meaning lower-rate payers would receive £28 and a high-rate would receive £56 if they qualify in one of these job categories. The HMRC will allow you to make a claim for the past four tax years.
On the HMRC website you will find all the different flat rate expenses for all different occupations, if your occupation is not there then, you can claim for a standard annual amount of £60 in tax relief.
Making a claim
If you’re claiming a tax allowance for the first time or you paid out more than £1,000, you will need to Fill in the P87 form online, you can submit it online also there are a lot of websites that offer to do this for you, but as most charge a fee, you can avoid this by doing it yourself for free.
You can also claim by post, you’ll have to fill in the P87 form online and print it out and send it to Pay As You Earn, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AS. Write ‘Repayment Claim’ on the envelope to speed things up. You’ll need to fill in one form for each year you’re claiming for.
Once you submit a reclaim your tax code should be adjusted to take future costs into account, so you shouldn’t need to reclaim again if you’ve done so before.