How To Save Money with Tax Rebates in the UK

If there’s one thing we all hate doing, its paying tax.  But it is also a necessary part of life and funds our schools, healthcare and other important services.

We all want to pay as little as possible within the rules but many of us are unaware of the little things we can claim a tax rebate for that can add up to a tidy sum of money over time.

Here we look at some of the industries and what they can claim for.


Healthcare Workers

For those working in healthcare, including nurses and midwives, there are certain expenses that are incurred as part of their job that can be claimed back as tax relief.  For example, if you wear a uniform for your job and there is no facility provided at work to wash this, you then take it home and launder it yourself.  You can have an allowance against your tax for this that varies depending on the exact type of healthcare work you do.

For example, the allowance per year:

  • Ambulance staff – £140
  • Nurses, midwives, healthcare assistances – £100
  • Hospital orderlies and porters, domestics and catering staff in hospitals – £100
  • Pharmacists and their assistants – £60
  • Uniformed staff such as ground staff, parking attendants, receptionists and security guards – £60

If a part of your uniform includes wearing species shoes, such as non-slip soles as well as stockings or tights of a particular colour, then you can claim £12 and £6 a year respectively for the cost of these items.  In fact, tax specialists at say that professional fees and subscriptions are also covered as well as a portion of professional indemnity insurance if you pay this, usually up to 20%.

Finally, there is a mileage allowance when you use your own vehicle for work.  So a nurse who visits patients in their homes and uses her own car to travel there can claim up to 45p per mile.  Records of mileage travelled must be kept in case proof is required.

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If you are a teacher and you pay costs such as union membership or membership of professional bodies, then you can claim some of this cost back as tax relief providing the organisation is on an approved list – the NUT and NASUWT are two examples.  If you have to wear a uniform as part of your job or have to supply sportswear if you work in that area of teaching, you can claim back the allowance for cleaning these items at home.

Teachers can often be asked to travel to different schools and if this is part of your job, you can claim business mileage for distance travelled outside your normal commute to a single location.  You will need to take a note of mileage travelled for record purposes.


Police officers

If police officers pay the basic rate of tax (20%) then they can claim £28 a year flat tax relief for the cost of maintaining their uniform.  This includes police community support officers, constables, sergeants, inspectors and chief inspectors.  Others who work in the police force and wear a uniform can also make a claim for a smaller amount of money.

Police Federation subscriptions also fall under tax relief and can mean a saving of around £52 per year on a subscription of £21.58 per month.  The only exception to this are those working for the Metropolitan Police, where the relief is automatically included.


Cabin crews

For those working as cabin crews as well as airline crews, then you can claim back an allowance for the cleaning of your work uniform.  In fact, the allowances for those working as cabin crews is one of the most generous allowed to any industry.  A recent change has seen this amount change from around £400 a year to over £700 a year so is well worth claiming for.

Cabin crews can also claim if they have to take vaccinations relating to their job or if they have to pay for any visas to allow them to travel.  This is based on your employer not having already reimbursed you for these expenses and proof of payment should be kept in case required.


Other areas

Any job that includes wearing a uniform that then has to be washed and ironed yourself can mean you may make a tax relief claim.  Workers included in this range from retail staff, hospitality and catering staff through to those working on public transport, builders and mechanics.

Students working part time may also be able to make some claim against their tax, depending on their job and based on them needing to launder their own uniform.


How to make a claim

There are various tax rebate calculators available that allow you to work out what tax relief you may be entitled to, depending on your occupation.  For claims relating to laundry costs, there is no need to provide any proof that you have done the laundry.

You can then complete an online form with the information required.  You add extra information about yourself and return the form to HMRC or a company who is dealing with the claim for you to get your refund.

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