Millions of employees in the service industry could collect an early Christmas present from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Workers, including nurses, hairdressers, construction workers and people working in retail and food sectors, may be able to claim rebates.
Staff in these types of roles sometimes 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.
If they are paid through PAYE, they may be able to get some of that money back. And if they claim online now it could be in their accounts before 25 December.
Workers are urged to go directly to GOV.UK to check if they can claim extra cash back. And, rather than use an agency, in a few clicks they could be on their way to claiming their full tax relief entitlement for genuine work-related expenses.
If eligible, customers can log in to their Personal Tax Account to claim for their tax relief online and, if their claim is approved, be paid within 3 weeks.
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 the 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.
The majority of claims are for repairing or replacing tools and branded uniforms, professional subscriptions and mileage. Healthcare workers, people working in food and retail, and those in the construction industry are among the top professions to claim from HMRC.
Customers may be able to claim tax relief on the cost of:
- repairing or replacing small tools needed to do their job (for example, scissors or an electric drill)
- cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a branded uniform or safety boots)
- business mileage (not commuting)
- travel and overnight expenses
- professional fees and subscriptions
Claims must be made within 4 years of the end of that tax year
Eligible employees will be paid tax relief at the rate of pay that they pay tax. For example, if they spend £60 and pay tax at a rate of 20% in that year, the tax relief they can claim is £12.
Workers need to have a Personal Tax Account
Customers can also claim by post by printing off a form from GOV.UK, or by phone if their total expenses are less than £1,000, or £2,500 for professional fees and subscriptions. Call 0300 200 3300 (Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm; Saturday: 8am to 4pm; Sunday: 9am to 5pm).