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How to Claim Uniform Tax Rebate

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jul 26, 2022
5 minutes read

People that wear uniforms for work and are responsible for washing, repairing and replacing them are often able to claim tax back. Not everyone is entitled to claim for uniform tax relief, and factors that may determine whether you can make a claim may include the nature of the clothing and the kind of expense you are claiming for.

If you do wear a uniform or protective clothing for work that you wash or repair yourself, it’s always worth finding out whether you can claim a refund. In this article, you’ll find detailed information on how to claim uniform tax, who is eligible, uniform tax for the self-employed, how much uniform tax rebate is possible to claim, and when you can expect to receive your relief.

Police in hi-vis jackets

Who is Eligible for Uniform Tax?

When learning about how to claim uniform tax, the first thing to learn is that you are likely to be eligible for uniform tax if your uniform strongly represents your occupation. Examples of this include police officers’ uniforms, nurses’ uniforms and doctors’ uniforms. If a member of the public can recognise who your employer is when you are out in public, there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to claim. You won’t be able to make a claim if your employer washes your uniform for you, or if they provide facilities to wash it. If your employer pays you to wash your uniform, you’ll be ineligible for this kind of tax relief. It’s also essential that you paid income tax during the year that you are claiming for.

How to Claim Uniform Tax for PPE?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to claim a refund for PPE or personal protective equipment that you use at work. If you need PPE including goggles, safety helmets or hi-visibility workwear to carry out your duties, it is your employer’s responsibility to cover the cost. If you pay for it yourself, your employer is responsible for reimbursing you.

How to Claim Uniform Tax if you are Self-Employed?

If you are self-employed, you won’t be able to claim uniform tax. This is because this kind of tax relief is only applicable to people who are paid under the PAYE system. Nonetheless, you may still be able to get a tax refund. This is because you are permitted to put the cost of uniforms and PPE down as an allowable business expense that you require in order to carry out your duties safely and effectively.

How Much Can You Claim Back With Uniform Tax?

According to HMRC, the cost to maintain a uniform in most lines of work is around £60 a year. If you are eligible to participate in the uniform tax rebate scheme, you should be able to receive a tax refund on this sum. If you are a basic rate taxpayer you’ll be entitled to a £12 tax rebate. A higher rate taxpayer will be eligible for a rebate of £24.

These figures apply to the vast majority of industries, but you may receive a much bigger sum if you work in a particular occupation. For instance, police force workers can get a maximum allowance of £140 a year, which equates to £28 for a basic taxpayer and £56 for a higher rate taxpayer. Nurses and midwives have an allowance of £125, equating to £25 for a basic rate payer and £50 for a higher rate payer.

Who Else Can Claim More in Uniform Tax Relief?

Pilots and co-pilots are given a yearly allowance of £1,022. This means a basic rate taxpayer can claim £204 and a higher rate one can claim £408. If you’re part of a team of ambulance staff, you’ll get a yearly allowance of £185. This means a basic rate taxpayer can claim £37, with a higher rate taxpayer claiming £74.

These are standard rates, but if you appear to be paying much more than the estimate, you may be able to get a rebate on the sum that you have actually spent. Claiming this way can be much more complex, which is why so many people opt to stick with the standard flat rate.

Can I Claim for Previous Years?

It is possible to claim back uniform tax relief for a maximum of four years in the past. If you’re a basic rate taxpayer, you’ll be able to claim back a maximum of £60 in most cases, or £120 if you’re a higher rate taxpayer.

How to Claim Uniform Tax Rebate?

If you’re ready to make your claim for uniform tax, you will need to complete the P87 form. If you have never made a claim before and your costs come to less than £1,000, you can claim on the Government’s website. If you want to claim for several years in the past, you’ll need to print out a form for each of the tax years and get it to HMRC via the post.

When Will I Receive My Uniform Tax Rebate?

Once you know how to claim uniform tax and have claimed, your tax code will be adjusted for the current tax year. This means you will be taxed less in the future and should see a small rise in the amount of money that you take home after tax. It typically takes around two days for a new tax code to be generated. Once your submission has been processed, HMRC will send a letter out to you. This will include information on how much you are entitled to and when payment will be made. It can take up to ten weeks for HMRC to respond to claims.

For more clairity on how long your uniform tax rebate will take, read our guide.


Now you have the information, you should have a good idea about how to claim uniform tax. If you are responsible for cleaning your uniform and it’s easy for the public to identify who you work for or what your role is when they see it, you will almost certainly be eligible for tax relief.

If you work in a specific industry and are claiming back several years, you could see more than £100 coming to you in refunds. The garments must be ones that you are unlikely to wear outside of work. You can’t claim the relief if your employer pays you to maintain your workwear, or if they wash it for you. You can’t claim if the employer gives you access to facilities to clean your workwear, even if you opt not to use them.

More on how to claim uniform tax: make sure you have paid income tax in the year or years you are submitting the claim for. It’s always best to make sure your employer doesn’t offer to wash your clothes for you before you make a claim. If you work in the armed forces, you won’t need to make a claim. This is because your tax code automatically reflects the tax relief when personal allowance calculations are made. You could be able to claim back much more than you expect when it comes to uniform tax relief, so it’s definitely worth looking into making a claim if you aren’t already.

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