Could you claim expenses and an early tax refund?
HMRC is reminding employees that they may be able to claim a tax rebate if they have incurred certain expenses related to their employment. HMRC’s press release on the matter specifically identifies workers including nurses, hairdressers, construction workers and those in retail and food that have to dip into their own pockets to pay for work-related expenses like car mileage, replacing or repairing small tools, or maintaining branded uniforms. A claim can be made online now with the tax relief being paid by Christmas.
It is possible to claim for the cost of repairing or replacing small tools you need to do your job as an employee (for example, scissors or an electric drill), cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a uniform or safety boots), business mileage, travel and overnight expenses and professional fees. An employee cannot claim relief on the initial cost of buying small tools or clothing for work.
A claim for valid purchases can be made against receipts or as a 'flat rate deduction'. The flat rate deductions are set amounts that HMRC has agreed are typically spent each year by employees in different occupations. The flat rate deductions range from a basic set amount of £60 and can go as high as £140 for certain listed occupations. This means that basic rate taxpayers can claim back a minimum flat rate of £12 (20% x £60) and higher rate taxpayers £24 (40% x £60) per year. Claims can usually be backdated for 4 years.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride MP, said:
'We know what a difference tax relief can make to hard-working customers, especially at this time of year. HMRC is keen to make sure customers get all the relief they’re entitled to by using their online service. Tax relief isn’t available for all employment expenses so the online Check If You Can Claim tool is very helpful – then if your claim is approved, your full tax relief will be paid directly into your bank account.'