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Martin Lewis Urges People to Check If They Can Claim £60 Uniform Tax Rebate

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Mar 12, 2024
7 minutes read
  • Everything you need to know about uniform tax
  • How you can get a uniform tax rebate
  • Claim back different amounts depending on your occupation

Ever the champion of the people, Martin Lewis has put fresh calls on anyone who wears a uniform to see if they can claim back uniform tax. The rebate is designed to help with the costs of maintaining your uniform for work, and anyone who hasn’t already claimed can receive a lump sum if they backdate it.

This article will explain what Martin Lewis has said about claiming a uniform tax rebate. It will also go into how much you can claim on the clothing you wear for work and how this differs per profession. If you need to maintain your work uniform, you can be missing out on money.

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What Has Martin Lewis Said About Uniforms?

On The Martin Lewis Money Show, the money saving expert himself shared his tips of receiving a uniform tax rebate for anyone who wears a uniform. He expressed concern that potentially thousands of eligible people could be missing out on a simple and effective way to get money back.

Martin Lewis told his viewers that anyone who washes and repairs their uniform can claim uniform tax. It counts if it’s a simple branded T-shirt, but also covers emergency service personnel, such as police uniforms and healthcare workers. Those in the armed forces are the only ones who can’t apply as they already qualify for a benefit.

How Much Is Uniform Tax Worth?

As Martin Lewis explained, the lowest amount you can claim for uniform tax is £60 a year, which is worth £12 a year for a basic 20% rate taxpayer. Higher 40% taxpayers can get £24 a year. He also explained that you can backdate this claim for up to four years, which is useful if you’re close to the end of a tax year as you could end up missing out.

Why All These Numbers?

The £60 a year already mentioned is a universal flat rate that most jobs are able to claim on. When it comes to uniform tax, if you’re expected to wash and maintain your uniform, you can use this flat rate system to receive money back on the tax you paid in that year. You claim a rebate on this figure based on the level of tax that you pay. Basic rate taxpayers receive 20% of this number, while higher rate taxpayers get back 40%.

If you have a more specialist job, you are able to claim back on a higher flat rate. This depends if the government and HMRC deem your job to be more demanding or with particular requirements to garments. The highest flat rate for any job is £1,022, which is available for pilots, co-pilots and uniformed flight deck crew. You can see a few specialist occupations and their uniform tax flat rates in the interactive graph below.

You don’t need to keep any records or receipts of any costs incurred when claiming a flat rate for uniform tax. The point of using a flat rate expense is that it takes the hassle out of keeping count of how much you spend on looking after your uniform and getting tools for your job. If the flat rate amounts don’t work for you, you can always work out your costs yourself and send a detailed summary to HMRC.

What If My Employer Pays My Expenses?

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You are able to claim a uniform tax rebate if you don’t receive any money from your employer. However, if your employer covers all the costs for you, then you cannot claim from HMRC. This is because you aren’t out of pocket, so you can’t claim back on any tax you never paid.

On the other hand, if your employer only pays some of the expenses for washing your uniform or buying the tools for your job, you may still be able to claim on uniform tax. You just need to subtract the amount you’re given from the flat rate for your occupation. If your job isn’t specified under HMRC rules, this will be £60. Anything left after this amount can be claimed on.

Bear in mind that you can only claim the tax back from the amount that’s left. If your employer pays you £40 a year for uniform expenses, you can then only claim on £20 for the year, which works out at £4 for a basic rate 20% taxpayer. It’s up to you whether you think this amount is worth claiming uniform tax on.

Why Did Martin Lewis Mention Backdating?

Backdating is an important part of uniform tax. Providing you qualify for the years in which you’re claiming, you can backdate a claim for uniform tax for up to four years. If you’re claiming on the £60 yearly flat rate, this will give you £60, including the current year. For a higher rate taxpayer, this will be £120. Backdating uniform tax is therefore a good way of claiming back a lump sum in tax.

How Do You Qualify for Uniform Tax?

Not everyone will automatically be eligible for a uniform tax claim. The following needs to apply:

  • Your uniform comes under the HMRC definition

  • Your employer doesn’t cover the costs of maintaining it

  • Your employer doesn’t provide you with the means of washing your uniform

  • You paid income tax in the years in which you wish to claim

Definition of a Uniform

HMRC says that uniform is a specialised set of clothing that is recognisable as a uniform. Anyone seeing you wear it would be able to tell that you have a certain profession. If you have name badges attached to clothing that could otherwise wear for personal use, it may not cover this definition.


Employer Help

If your employer pays you for maintaining your uniform, you can’t claim uniform tax relief. Partial reimbursement can qualify, as long it doesn’t go above the flat rate amount your occupation entitles you to.

Likewise, if you are provided with the means to wash your uniform at your workplace, you cannot claim for uniform tax. This is even if you decide not to use these facilities. In the government’s eyes, you can wash and maintain your uniform at your workplace, so you are not out of pocket.

Income Tax

The way uniform tax relief works is by claiming back on money that you’ve already paid for uniform upkeep. By making a claim, you get back some of this tax that you paid in any year you qualify. If you don’t pay income tax, you are unable to claim for the year. If you did in some years and not others, you can claim for the years you qualified within the last four years.

How to Claim

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There are a couple of options available to you. You can either go through HMRC and fill out their forms or you can make use of a claims management company. Unfortunately, the forms required aren’t always easy to fill out, which can make it difficult for people who aren’t familiar with complicated tax forms. Using a claims management company takes this off your plate as they liaise with HMRC on your behalf.

Start your journey for a uniform tax claim by filling in your details. Get a tax specialist to do all the hard work for you so you can carry on with your busy life.

What Else Did Martin Lewis Say?

Also in his show, Martin Lewis urged married couples to not miss out on making a marriage tax claim. This is where a non taxpaying individual transfers some of their tax free allowance to their taxpaying partner. By doing so, this increases the amount the household can earn without paying tax.

As an example, a non taxpayer transfers £1,260 of their personal allowance to their basic rate taxpaying spouse. This raises the taxpayer’s personal allowance from £12,570 to £13,830. As a result, the household benefits from over £200 in additional disposable income.

What you need to know about Marriage Allowance.

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