Can I claim tax back for washing my uniform?

If you wear a uniform to work and you have to wash, repair or replace it then you can claim tax relief for this and claim for the last 4 years as long as you paid income tax during the years you are claiming the rebate for.

All of the following must apply to be able to claim tax relief:

  • You wear a uniform at work
  • Your employer requires you to wear the uniform when working
  • You have to clean and/or repair, replace or purchase the uniform yourself. Please note that if your employer washes your uniform for you or provides facilities to do so, you can not claim.
  • You have paid income tax in the year that you are claiming.

How much can I claim?

Most people can claim back for the last four years plus this year so five years altogether. A basic-rate taxpayer, claiming the Health Care flat rate uniform allowance (£125) can claim back £25 for each year they claim, meaning they could reclaim £125 for the last 4 years plus this year!

Once you have registered and made a claim, your tax code will change so you’ll be taxed less in the future and will not need to continue to claim.

Different occupations have different flat rates, if you are not a health care worker you can click here to see what your flat rate laundry expenses are.  If you are not included in that list but you still wear a uniform for work and you have to wash it, then your flat rate expense is £60. 

How do I claim?

Claim yourself! Do not get a company to do it for you as they tend to take a take a cut and it’s easy to do.

You need to fill out a P87 form. You can do it online if you have a government gateway login, if not you can print it out and post it to the address on the form. 

The form will ask you for:

  • Employer's name and address.
  • Your occupation, job title and industry sector.
  • Your details, including your national insurance number and your pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) reference.
  • Whether you're claiming flat-rate expenses (usually you will be; if not, you'll need detailed records of costs).
  • How you want to be paid – into your bank account or by cheque.

The form is for all work related expenses so click ‘No’ on each page of the form that doesn’t apply to you.

It can take up to five weeks for HMRC to process your claim, but once they have you will receive a letter telling you how much you’re entitled to and when the money will be refunded.

If you have reclaimed in previous years, then your tax code should have been adjusted to take into account of your costs so you shouldn’t need to reclaim again. However, if your tax code hasn’t been adjusted and you have claimed before then you can reclaim over the phone. You can call HMRC on 0300 2003310, 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturday.