Uniform Tax Allowance Guide

Everything you need to know about tax relief for uniforms

You might wonder why we need an additional guide about uniform expenses when we could just have put all this information in the Builders Expenses Guide. As you will see, things are a little different with regard to uniform expenses. But hopefully this guide will help clear up all of your questions about what you can and can’t claim for uniform-wise.

We have also included information relating to mechanics and uniforms.

CIS Workers and Uniform Tax Allowance

If, as a CIS worker, you don’t wear a particular uniform and just wear your own clothes, like jeans and a t-shirt, then you can’t claim any tax allowance on this. However, if you wear any clothing which displays a company logo then you can claim for the expense of washing these items. And you’ve got to have clean clothes, right? Additionally, all compulsory protective clothing can be claimed for as an expense under the Uniform Tax Allowance. So if, for example, you have to wear a high-vis vest or steel-capped boots on a site, you can also claim for the cost of these items.

PAYE Workers and Uniform Tax Allowance

PAYE workers can’t claim for protective gear as it is assumed that this is provided by your employer and doesn’t cause you to be out of pocket. However, if you do have to pay for your own protective gear then you can claim for those expenses. And as with CIS workers, you can claim for the costs of laundering any company uniform with a logo.

Standard Tax Rebate for Uniformed Workers

As we suggested at the top of this guide, it isn’t as simple as just claiming an expense when it comes to uniforms. HMRC have set out flat rate rebates for uniforms and for construction workers, these are as follows:

Construction Worker Category Flat Rate Uniform Expense Annual Rebate Amount for Basic Rate Tax Payers (20%) Annual Rebate Amount for Higher Rate Tax Payers (40%)
Joiners and Carpenters £140 £28 £56
Cement works, roofing felt and asphalt labourers £80 £16 £32
Labourers and navvies £60 £12 £24
All other workers £120 £24 £48


These can be backdated for up to four years so if you are a joiner who hasn’t claimed before that would be £28 times by 4 years, meaning you could claim a rebate of £112.

Is this different for mechanics?

Just like builders, if you are a mechanic wearing your own clothes to work you can’t claim any expenses back through the Uniform Tax Allowance. However, if you wear anything with the garage logo on it, overalls or any protective gear that you have either bought yourself or wash yourself then you can claim a rebate for that. Just like construction workers, HMRC have a flat rate rebate for mechanics’ uniforms and for motor mechanics who work in a garage repair shop, this is £120 per year. So if you are a basic rate (20%) tax payer, you could claim £24 per year or £48 for a higher rate (40%) tax payer.

We at DSR Tax Claims hope that this has answered any questions you may have had about the Uniform Tax Allowance but if you are still unclear, give us a call on 0115 795 0232 and let us help. We are here to help you claim your maximum rebate fast!

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