From washing your uniform to working from home, you could be owed money if you spend on professional essentials.
And as the cost of living rises, accountancy experts are warning it’s more important than ever to claim what you’re entitled to.
Tax relief on work-related expenses applies to employed people for a number of costs including travel, professional fees and fixing your own work boots.
According to HMRC, more than 800,000 people claimed tax refunds for work expenses during 2021/22.
Jack Mackreth of leading accountancy firm Kyzen Sports says, “If you’re employed and you spend your own money on work-related expenses then you could be entitled to claim tax relief on this.”
People who must wear a uniform to work, such as nurses and police officers, or those who wear specialist clothing such as overalls and work boots, are able to claim tax back on the cost of washing, repairing and replacing them.
You can’t claim if your employer offers a laundry service and you choose not to use it, or you buy everyday clothes that you wear for work.
Mackreth says, “Every penny counts and it’s important that hard-working people are getting what they are owed.”
If your employer does not have an office you can claim tax back on the cost of working from home.
You can either claim for tax relief on a flat rate of £6 a week, or you can claim tax back on your individual expenses, but you will need to provide proof of the expenses such as bills and receipts. You can’t claim for things that you use for both your business and personal life, such as broadband access.
The tax relief does not apply if you choose to work from home.
“Many workplaces chose to close their physical offices after the Covid lockdowns,” adds Mackreth. “If you are one of the people affected by this, make sure you are claiming for what you are entitled to.”
Jobs that require employees to hold professional memberships, such as those in medicine, accounting or law, are eligible for tax relief on the cost of these fees.
Mackreth says, “HMRC holds a list of all approved professional organisations and learned societies, so check if yours is on the list. As well as claiming for the current tax year, you can also claim for the previous four years.”
Other equipment used for work, such as computers or tools, are eligible for tax relief if they are needed to carry out your job and your employer hasn’t paid for them.
Employees are also able to claim tax back on the cost of travel if you are using the vehicle for work, but commuting to and from the office is not included.
“HMRC’s portal on gov.uk holds a list of expenses that people can claim tax relief on,” reveals Mackreth.