If your employer states you have to wear one, yes, you can claim tax back for washing uniform. Read on for further explanation as it depends on your job role and how the uniform is paid for.
Stop! Check You're Eligible First
Before going any further, in order to claim tax relief for washing and maintaining uniforms for work, you must comply with all of the following criteria:
- You wear what is clearly a uniform (of any sort), protective or specialist clothing for work. Being asked to wear a plain white shirt does not count, but one with an embroidered logo does. It must obviously be a piece of uniform to "the average person in the street" when seen out of a work context.
- It is compulsory.
- Your employer does not provide laundry facilities
- Your employer doesn't already give you an allowance for washing and maintaining your uniform.
- You have paid income tax in the year you are claiming.
What Clothing Is Eligible?
Anything which is clearly a uniform, specialist or protective workwear clothing and is compulsory in order to complete your work.
If, when worn outside of work, it would be clearly viewed as "work clothes", then it is eligible. This covers things from PPE to branded t-shirts for a mobile phone store.
If you wear regular/your own clothing for work and this has to be cleaned as a result of your tasks at work - e.g. a quantity surveyor's suit getting dirty on site, a bank clerk's own trousers bought to match her branded blouse, a cleaner's own bought tracksuit pants getting stained - this is not eligible.
How To Claim
Simply fill in the details, press send or print it out and post it to the address provided.
How Much You Can Claim
Generally speaking, the flat yearly rate for cleaning and maintaining your uniform is £60. So if you are in the standard tax band, you will be able to claim 20% of this back, i.e. £12. If you pay 40% tax, you can claim £24.
Certain professions are eligible to claim more than the standard percentage of £60. This is to account for more rigorous wear and tear and more frequent cleaning. This includes jobs such as builders and other trades, blacksmiths and iron workers, and various others.
See the full list here.
For retrospective claims (you can claim back up to four years) you will be due a rebate and then your tax code will be adjusted, meaning you will pay less tax going forward.
What Else You Can Claim For
You can also claim for major purchases required to complete your work - expensive tools/equipment - and also, separately, for maintaining or repairing small items that last less than two years - like safety boots, chisels, drills, scissors etc.
Buying Your Own Uniform?
Or want to persuade your bosses to get new uniform for you? Check out our free guide to buying workwear. Check it out by pressing the button below and GET THE GUIDE.