You can claim a tax rebate whenever you have made a tax overpayment. This sounds so much simpler than it is. Literally millions of taxpayers do not know that they have made a tax overpayment.

These are workers, like you and me, who have paid for things that are for work and who are unaware that they are entitled to reclaim the tax they have paid on these items.

HMRC cannot send automatic tax rebates for these types of tax reliefs or allowances. You must submit an official claim following the correct procedure.

What kind of work expenses can I claim tax relief for?

HMRC have a vast array of regulations covering every different type of employment. Some professions even have flat rate amounts that you can claim for regular expenses and theses claims don’t need the same level of evidence to back them up.

Some of the most common tax rebate claims are:

  • Mileage: if you don’t get the full amount from your employer, you can claim the difference, when you use your own vehicle for work travel
  • Tools, specialist equipment, safety gear: if they are necessary for your work and your employer does not provide them
  • Uniform maintenance: replacement items and laundry costs are included here
  • Food and accommodation: when you are between work locations or staying overnight for work
  • Professional Subscriptions: often compulsory membership to the organisations that govern your profession
  • Trade Union fees
  • Licence costs: for example, in the security industry certain licences must be held

How many of these work expenses do you shell out for? Did you know you can reclaim the tax you paid on them?

Why doesn’t everybody claim?

Apart from the issue of not knowing their entitlement, the process is somewhat time consuming. HMRC’s regulations are full of ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ and ‘buts’, which can make it very difficult to know exactly which rules apply specifically to your own situation. It is also notoriously difficult to get hold of someone at HMRC to help you, although they have made significant improvements to their customer service recently.

You have to have full knowledge of the rules to make sure that you don’t miss out on any reliefs or allowances that you are entitled to. You also must fill in the paperwork correctly and know which evidence is needed for which rebate in order to avoid any fines for making a mistake. All of these factors put taxpayers off reclaiming their money and leave the Treasury with quite a bit extra in their coffers.

Good to know

  • Your first tax rebate claim can be backdated for four years
  • You do have to have been paying income tax in the tax year you are claiming tax relief for
  • You do not need receipts for all claims
  • You can appoint a tax expert to submit your tax rebate claim on your behalf

Find out more…

There are more details about tax relief and how it applies to you in our Tax Refund section. This includes the supporting evidence HMRC needs, other reasons you could be eligible to claim and how to submit a tax rebate claim.