Are You Missing Out On Tax Relief?

Do you incur expenses working for an employer that are not reimbursed? Maybe you wear a uniform which you have to launder at home? If you work for an employer and do not fill in a self assessment tax return every tax year, then you may be able to claim tax relief on these expenses.

What is tax relief? Tax relief is an amount that can be deducted from a worker’s annual income which will reduce the amount on which tax is paid. Many people miss out on claiming tax relief and reducing their tax bill. Here are a few steps to help you decide if you want to claim tax relief and save yourself some money:

Step 1

Understand what you are able to claim for by reading the government’s guide on expenses at www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/overview. This guide looks at expenses for uniforms, work clothing, tools, business mileage, travel expenses and professional fees and subscriptions.

Step 2

If you don’t have receipts for your expenses then the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) have produced a helpful guide on what they feel employees in different occupations can reclaim in tax relief for expenses.  They call it the ‘Flat Rate Deduction’.  Go to the link below to see if your occupation is listed. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/eim32712.htm.

Don’t worry if your occupation isn’t listed as you may be able to claim the standard flat rate deduction of £60.  There are lots of other guidelines on the HMRC website to help with your claim. If you are a healthcare worker look at EIM67200, as you can also claim an additional allowance for shoes and stockings. There is a lot of information to dig through but don’t lose heart.

Step 3

Go to the HMRC Website and find the form P87 (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/p87form.htm). Complete the form online then print it off and post to the address at the end of the form.  You will need your employer PAYE reference (on your P60 or ask your employer) and employee number (on your payslip).

When the HMRC receive your completed form they will review the claim and make an adjustment to your tax for the current tax year.

It does sound daunting but it is worth the trouble.  Ignore the many claim handling companies on the internet who charge a fee for this service as you can easily claim yourself for free.  You can claim back expenses dating back up to four years, just make sure you choose the right year when filling out the form.

Susan Mills 19/11/14

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