Uniform Benefits and Allowances
Uniform tax rebates (sometimes called uniform benefits or HMRC uniform allowances) are a special kind of tax relief for people who have to clean, repair or replace specialist work clothing. There are specific rules about who qualifies for it and what counts as a "uniform", but they're not always clear. As a result, a lot of people are missing out on years' worth of tax refunds totalling hundreds of pounds or more.
In order to get a uniform tax rebate, you've got to:
- Wear specialised clothing for work. It doesn't necessarily have to be overalls or a suit, but it does have to be a necessary part of your job. Wearing a chicken costume when you're a performer in an amusement park would probably qualify. Wearing one when you're an accountant might not.
- Pay for the laundry or upkeep yourself. If the money isn't coming out of your own pocket, you can't claim back tax on it.
- Pay Income Tax. Again, this is just common sense. You can't claim back tax you aren't paying in the first place.
There are a couple of other wrinkles in the rules, mostly relating to specific industries. These are the basics that apply to pretty much everyone, though. One odd point to keep in mind is that you generally can't claim for the initial cost of the clothing. Repairing, cleaning or replacing it is usually fair game, though.