Uniform Tax Refunds
I work in security. Can I claim a tax refund on my uniform costs?
Security work often comes with specific clothing and safety gear requirements. If you're paying from your own pocket for the upkeep of your uniform or gear, you can claim a tax refund on your costs. What you can claim for depends on the work you do and what you're spending money on.
If you're employed through the PAYE system in security, you can make expenses claims based on:
- The cost of cleaning, repairing or replacing work clothes.
- The cost of cleaning, repairing or replacing your essential safety gear.
The key word here is "essential". The only expenses you can claim for are ones that are absolutely necessary for your job. If you wear a jacket with a company logo on it, it will probably count. Taking the t-shirt you drove to work in to the laundry won't.
You can't generally claim for any initial purchase costs for clothing, either. However, keeping it in good condition and replacing it when it's worn out can often be valid expenses.
When you're self-employed, you've got a whole different set of rules about what you can claim for. Again, though, it always comes down to the essential costs of doing your work. The difference when you're your own boss is that even the initial purchase costs count against your tax bill.
However you work, it needn't take a huge amount of paperwork to claim your uniform or clothing expenses. If you don't fancy tracking your spending and keeping receipts, there's a simpler option. Self-employed people can use the "simplified expenses" system for many kinds of work costs. Instead of keeping detailed records, you can just claim a set amount. Similarly, employed people can use a "flat rate deduction" to claim without a lot of bookkeeping. You probably won't make the most of your refund like this, but it can help make things easier. Talk to RIFT if you're not sure what your best option is.
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