Tax Relief for Work Uniforms – Not Fancy-Dressing it Up

I’ve always been partial to dressing up. For those of you with a dirty mind, this is a parenting blog so stop it! The mention of a stick on moustache or novelty wig has always got my party started. Mrs TTF, on the other-hand, would rather stay bare than don a nurse’s uniform (you’ve got me thinking now!).

Uniform Tax Relief

I was therefore pleasantly surprised (and a little jealous) to find that Jabo (no 1 son) had acquired a dressing up box. Amongst the costumes were:

A Knight (Minus a sword)
A Pirate (Minus a cutlass)
A Cowboy (Minus a gun)

Jabo was proudly holding the costumes aloft when I returned from work. After running around the house shouting “yea haa”, “ohh arr” and some knightly noises (any suggestions) I let Jabo have them back.

When I queried the lack of weaponry Mrs TTF showed me her secret arsenal (I told you dirty minded lot this is a parenting blog). All the offending articles were stashed away which lead to a healthy debate about children and weapons.

My well made and reasoned point was that you can’t be a true character without the right accessories. Plus it never did me any harm.

Mrs TTF’s weak and petty argument was that, as he is two and half, giving him a long pointy thing would only end in disaster. I therefore conceded…..and then when she was out handed over the tools to enable Jabo to exercise his thespian acting skills.

Five minutes later I was holding a screaming Baby Jarvis (No 2 Son) who was nursing an ear that had just been used as a scabbard. After re-hiding the offending articles and ensuring that Jarvis was ok (not in that order if you are a social worker) I was reasonably happy that Mrs TTF would be none the wiser. I even checked that Jabo still couldn’t construct full sentences yet so “I stuck a sharp object in baby’s ear” was not going to be his first conversation.

As usual Mrs TTF was right but are there any tax benefits from dressing up in uniform?

THE TAX BIT

Tax relief is available for individuals who wear a uniform to work and have to wash and repair it.  The relief is deducted against your employment income.

Who Can Claim?

Anyone who meets the following criteria can claim:

a) Wears a recognisable uniform

This should be one that has a logo either printed or sewn onto it.

b) that the employer requires you to wear

The employer must insist on you wearing the uniform as part of your employment.

c) and you have to pay to clean or repair it.

If you have to wash the uniform yourself then this counts.

How Much?

The tax relief depends on your occupation as some employees (nurses etc) are covered by a flat rate deduction for the upkeep of tools and uniforms (see here).

If you do not fall under these specialist occupations then for 2012/13 the individual can claim £60 as a reasonable estimate of the deductable expense. If this is your first claim you could deduct this amount from both the previous four tax years and the current tax years income. That’s £60 of tax back if you are a basic rate tax payer.

How to Claim

All you need to do to claim this amount is to copy and paste this simple letter, fill in the blanks and then post it to your tax office.

H M Revenue & Customs
[Insert Address on Payslip/P60 or ask HR]

[Insert Your Address]

[Insert Date]

Dear Sir,

[Insert Your National Insurance Number]
Upkeep and Repair of Protective Clothing or Uniforms

I have been employed as a [insert job title] by [insert employer’s name and address] since [insert start date].

From [insert date] [Insert employer] requires me to wear a uniform which has the company logo displayed upon it. I am responsible for the upkeep and repair of the uniform and my employer contributes [insert amount contributed by employer, can be nil] for this purpose.

I should therefore be grateful if you would accept this letter as a claim for a deduction for the upkeep and replacement of the uniform. I understand that I may claim £60* per year from 06 April 2008 and £45* for the year ended 05 April 2008 as a reasonable estimate. I should therefore be grateful if you would apply this to the current and previous four tax years.

I should also be grateful if you would include an ongoing deduction in my PAYE tax code.

Please acknowledge safe receipt and send a repayment by way of cheque to my above address.

Yours faithfully

[insert your name]

*If you are in one of the special sector just change the amounts that you are asking to be claimed.

Fill out the blanks and sit back and wait for your cheque plus the ongoing benefit in future years. Where else would you earn £60 for so little work?  So don’t let an agency dress up how easy it is and charge you for writing a standard letter.

Right I’m off to point out to Mrs TTF that Police Women’s uniforms are tax deductible (I can but try!).

By Peter Cross

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