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Tax rebates for uniform costs
If your uniform is required for your job, but you are expected to supply it yourself, you may qualify for up to £125 for clothing per year, and up to £12 for footwear.
A deduction can be permitted for clothing that is recognisably a uniform or part of a uniform, where the employee is required by his or her duties to wear it and must bear the cost of it. A uniform in this context means a set of clothing of a specialised nature that is recognisable as a uniform and is intended to identify its wearer as having a particular occupation. Examples include traditional nurse or chefs’ uniforms.
This includes nursing shoes, theatre clogs and professional footwear for any industry, where the wearer has had to supply their own shoes.
The specific guidelines on nursing footwear can be seen below as an excerpt from the HMRC website:
“Tax treatment of nurses: expenses deductions: shoes and stockings/tights allowance"
Section 336 and 367 ITEPA 2003
Expenses deductions may be permitted to nurses of all grades including midwives, for expenditure incurred and defrayed by them on the repair and renewal of shoes and stockings/tights:
References to a nurse should be taken for this purpose to include nurses and midwives of all grades and includes auxiliaries, students, dental nurses, nursing assistants and healthcare assistants or workers.”
The above excerpt was taken from the HMRC website here: https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim67200
How to make a claim
You can't claim for the initial cost of buying the clothes and shoes, so not for the first time, but you can for any replacements.
If this is your first time claiming a tax allowance for your uniform, or the amount you paid out was more than £1,000, then you will be required to fill in a form and make your claim either online or by post.
There are a plethora of claims handlers or websites offering to do this for you, but most of these will charge a fee, when you can easily do it yourself, for free.
Fill in the P87 form online here, once completed you can submit it online or 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.
If you need the form in an alternative format, you can contact the HMRC helpline on 0300 200 3300.
You'll be asked for information on:
The form relates to various expenses, and asks about other expenses you may be claiming for, eg, company car. If you don't get any of these, just click 'No' on each page of the form that doesn't apply.
Once HMRC has received and processed your claim, you will be issued letter telling you how much you're entitled to, and details on when the money will be paid. It could take up to five weeks to process your claim.
Usually, if you've submitted a reclaim, then your tax code will be adjusted in future years to take account of your costs, so you won't need to reclaim again.
If, as part of its normal tax admin, HMRC sends you a P810 'Tax Review' form – to check your tax code is correct – you can also fill this in to claim tax relief.
Other expenses that you can claim
There are other tax-deductable exspenses that you may be able to claim, such as the cost of professional fees, specialist tools or travel to your job.
For instance, nurses get an annual £12 allowance for shoes, £6 for tights, and tax relief on RCN subscriptions, while police officers may also be given a flat rate expense allowance of £140 per year. See more on the other allowances on the HMRC website here.