Free Tax Rebate Guide

Tax Rebate overview:

You might be able to claim tax relief if:

  • you use your own money for things that you must buy for your job
  • you only use these things for your work
  • You cannot claim tax relief if your employer either gives you:
  • all the money back
  • an alternative, for example your employer gives you a laptop but you want a different type or model
  • You must have paid tax in the year. You’ll get tax relief based on what you’ve spent and the rate at which you pay tax.
  • Example If you spent £120 and pay tax at a rate of 20% in that year, the tax relief you can claim is £24.
  • You must claim within 4 years of the end of the tax year that you spent the money. For some claims, you must keep records of what you’ve spent, such as buying tools or equipment. You don’t need receipts for claiming nationally agreed uniform tax rebate allowance.
  • If your claim is for previous tax years, HMRC will either make adjustments through your tax code or give you a tax refund.

Uniforms, work clothing and tools:

You may be able to claim tax relief on the cost of:

  • repairing or replacing small tools you need to do your job (for example, scissors or an electric drill)
  • cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a uniform or safety boots)
    You cannot claim relief on the initial cost of buying small tools or clothing for work.

How much you can claim

You can either claim:

  • the actual amount you’ve spent – you’ll need to keep receipts
  • an agreed fixed amount (a ‘flat rate expense’ or ‘flat rate deduction’) Check if your job has an agreed flat rate expense.

Travel and overnight expenses

If you have to travel for your work you may be able to claim tax relief on the cost or money you’ve spent on food or overnight expenses.
You cannot claim for travelling to and from work, unless you’re travelling to a temporary place of work.
You can claim tax relief for money you’ve spent on things like:

  • public transport costs
  • hotel accommodation if you have to stay overnight
  • food and drink
  • congestion charges and tolls
  • parking fees
  • business phone calls and printing costs

You may also be able to claim tax relief on business mileage.

Professional fees and subscriptions

You can claim tax relief on fees or subscriptions you pay to approved professional organisations – but only if you must have membership or it relates to your job.
You cannot claim tax back on fees or subscriptions for:

  • life membership subscriptions
  • fees or subscriptions you have not paid for yourself (for example, if your employer has paid for them)
    Your organisation can tell you how much tax you’re allowed to claim back.

Working at home

You may be able to claim tax relief for some of the bills you have to pay because you have to work at home on a regular basis. You cannot claim tax relief if you choose to work from home.
You can only claim for things to do with your work, for example, business telephone calls or the extra cost of gas and electricity for your work area.
You cannot claim for things that you use for both private and business use, for example, rent or broadband access.
Your employer can pay you up to £4 a week (£18 a month) to cover your additional costs if you have to work from home. You will not need to keep any records.

If you work at home voluntarily

If you’ve agreed with your employer to work at home voluntarily, or you choose to work at home, you cannot claim tax relief on the bills you have to pay.

Tools or buying other equipment

In most cases you can claim tax relief on the full cost of substantial equipment, for example a computer, you have to buy to do your work. This is because it qualifies for a type of capital allowance called annual investment allowance.
You cannot claim capital allowances for cars, motorcycles or bicycles you use for work, but you may be able to claim for business mileage and fuel costs.
You claim in a different way for small items that’ll last less than 2 years, such as uniforms and tools.

If your employer gives you money for the item

Reduce the amount you claim tax relief on by the amount of money your employer gives you.