Home > Ask Our Experts > Can Tax Allowance Be Claimed on Work Clothes?

Can Tax Allowance Be Claimed on Work Clothes?

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 3 Aug 2015 | comments*Discuss
Tax Relief Expenses Equipment Clothing


My daughter is a newly qualified hairdresser on the minimum wage and she has to buy all her own equipment to do her job. Her employer also requires them to wear only black clothing. Again this she has to buy herself.

Can she claim tax relief on these. If so how does she go about it?

(Mrs S. A., 29 September 2008)


Almost inevitably, it tends to be the lowest paying employers that expect the most from their staff, particularly in terms of equipment and clothing that must be provided by the employees. This can prove an expensive proposition, particularly when the profession in question requires many specialist tools. This is presumably exacerbated by your daughter’s low wage, and the fact that she must buy everything from scratch.

The good news is that there is some Tax Relief available on both equipment and clothing when these are needed for work and the employee is required to pay for them. This works much the same way as, for example, a Mileage Allowance that would be granted if you paid for fuel during the course of your job.

Your initial question asked about tax relief for clothing is something of a grey area. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will offer tax relief if the clothing is deemed to be a ‘uniform’ and specifically identifies your daughter as a member of staff. As the clothing she is required to wear seems to be non-descript black clothes, she may have some difficulty proving eligibility if this was investigated. In reality, however, if she applies for a uniform allowance, HMRC will almost certainly grant it. Either way, she will certainly be entitled to tax relief on the cost of her equipment.

HMRC has agreed flat rates with some unions, meaning that some workers can receive a basic annual payment to cover the estimated costs of their equipment. This is not the case for hairdressers, though, and your daughter, presuming that she is paid via PAYE, will need to write to HMRC. They will send a copy of form P87, on which she will need to give details of the expenses for which she wishes to make a claim. The expenses will be paid via an adjustment to her existing tax code. If she pays tax via Self Assessment, there is a space in the employment section for detailing these expenses.

In future years the process becomes easier. It is assumed that expenses remain fairly steady, and she will therefore be able to make a claim by telephone as long as the value of the claim does not exceed £1,000.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi my Friend lost his leg Two years ago And his false leg causes wear and tear in the Knees of his jeans and his trainers. Is there any Wear and tear benefit for people with artificial limbs.
LOOPY LOU - 3-Aug-15 @ 1:11 PM
@Max - as specified in the article there is some tax relief available on both equipment and clothing when these are needed for work and the employee is required to pay for them. A deduction can be allowed for clothing that is classed as a uniform or part of a uniform, where the employee is required by his or her duties to wear it and must bear the cost of it. Please see more from the HMRC link here. I hope this helps.
TheTaxGuide - 27-Jul-15 @ 10:20 AM
i am employed and have to buy my own work clothes ie; work boots jeans t-shirts and sweat shirts. I have to have 3 pairs of jeans a week 7 t-shirts 7 sweatshirts. How do i make a claim for these??
max - 24-Jul-15 @ 9:57 AM
tax allowance on employee uniform for washing I'm looking to claim employee uniform for washing from 2008.
rik - 14-Apr-15 @ 12:49 PM
I work in as manager of a day care centre full time, as my work is hands on I soil and ruin my clothes often ,am I entitle to a tax allowance for my clothes
Nellie - 14-Apr-15 @ 8:42 AM
I work as manager of a day care center and wear my own clothes but as my work is hands on my clothes are constantly soiled and ruined am I entitled to a work clothes allowance Ellen
Nellie - 14-Apr-15 @ 8:36 AM
I work for a care home and we wear our own clothes, however the clients we look after can be agressive and have at times ripped clothing, pulled clothing made clothes mishapen, dribble on us etc can we claim for these clothes or claim maintainence of these clothes
Cathy - 24-Sep-14 @ 9:15 AM
I work for a care home andI am supplied with a uniform - tunics and dress with a logo on itbut I have to wash these myself,I also have to supply my shoes and tights,also my husband works for a department store and wears a uniform with a logo on ithe also has to wash this himself can we claim anything for having to wash our own uniforms and for me supling the tights and shoes?
bagpuss - 19-Mar-14 @ 10:31 AM
Tax rebate on uniform for washing
Kate - 26-Jun-13 @ 9:09 PM
Can I claim tax allowance on employee uniform for washing
Kate - 26-Jun-13 @ 9:07 PM
Please can you give me the address that i have to write to to claim an allowance for the washing and maintenance of my work clothing asmy work with people with challenging behavior can cause a lot of wear and tear on the clothing. I used to get this allowance but don't appear to receive it now.
Rozzy - 22-Jan-13 @ 8:02 PM
caring homes and do not weara uniform as the people I work with have special needs and this causes wear and tear on my clothing as these people can pull at clothing anddribble on us. I used to get an allowance for the washing and maintenance of the clothing Iwear to workcan i still claim this and what is the address i write my letter to asking for this
Rozzy - 22-Jan-13 @ 7:56 PM
I have recently gotnew job working as a Sales Adminstrator/ Book keeper. I have been told to wear smart clothes for work which i have had to provide myself. Would i be able to get any help with the cost of my clothing?
gibson - 8-Oct-12 @ 2:55 PM
I am employed by 2 companies and do lots of mileage in my own car- can they both pay me 10000 miles at 45p in a tax year or will the second 10000 need to be at the lower rate?
Ros - 12-Jul-12 @ 3:06 PM
If you're self-employed then you can claim virtually everything associated with your job. There's a space on the self-assessment form that allows for this, and you should make sure you take advantage of it - claim everything possible. If you work for someone else, as it says above, there are times when you can claim for tolls and uniforms, so you should make sure you take everything possible off your taxes.
Victoria - 5-Jul-12 @ 6:22 AM
@Linzi, you need to go to the HMRC website and search for form P87.
TheTaxGuide - 3-Apr-12 @ 2:10 PM
Both me and my husband work and both have work clothes, he is a joiner and i work for a compnay with work shirts with logos on. How would i go about claiming for our clothing and my husbands tools. can you tell me what form i need or send me a link for the correct one. thank you
linzi - 3-Apr-12 @ 1:38 PM
Is it possible to get your tax back in money instead of a adjustment on your tax code.thank you
CHUBS - 6-Feb-12 @ 5:20 PM
If I receive a mileage allowance from my company when using my own car for work not connected to the company,but includes travel done for both charities and with professional bodies.If so can I claim the allowance tax free.
glassman - 26-Jan-12 @ 5:29 PM
I am a dustman so can i claim tax back?? As i have 2 wear ballastic trousers
tazman - 20-Jan-12 @ 2:11 PM
could i claim back the money for buying and washing my overalls x
dee - 2-Nov-11 @ 1:01 PM
I have started a new job I have to buy shirts, shoes and suits. Can I claim tax on them?
hawk - 11-Mar-11 @ 10:33 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Dom
    Re: Claiming Tax Relief on Mileage
    I am paid a £250 per month travel allowance with my salary, and claim monthly travel expenses each month from the company for…
    13 September 2018
  • Fifi
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi I’m working 22hrs a week at 7.85ph but also signed up to an agency to work as and when, how much tax would I pay
    11 September 2018
  • Littledigidi
    Re: Claiming Tax Relief on Mileage
    Hi - I have a fuel card, the majority of my mileage is work related. can i claim any tax back on this. My company pay for all my…
    10 September 2018
  • TheTaxGuide
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    B - Your Question:I have two jobs the first is as and when and the second is 12 hrs a week, combined I am nowhere near the…
    4 September 2018
  • Loui
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    I am employed working 15hrs at £8.20 but get paid monthly and I'm self employed for 2 hrs a week at £8.00 a week. Would I get…
    3 September 2018
  • RichardW
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hello, I am going to be earning two wages for 3 months soon and was wondering how my tax is going to work. My current job…
    26 August 2018
  • Andy
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Can my employer find out if I have a second job??
    24 August 2018
  • Amy
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    Hi I have a part time job that pays £580 every 4 weeks. I have just accepted a second part time job that will pay about £250…
    21 August 2018
  • Angry
    Re: Company Car Tax Liability and Rules
    I have used a company car for the last 8 years bit as my car is at the end of the lease I asked to opt out of the company…
    19 August 2018
  • Gem
    Re: How Will My Second Job Be Taxed?
    If your second job is bank do you on my pay more tax when you have done shifts in this second job or every month even if not…
    16 August 2018