HMRC is urging millions of employees such as nurses, hairdressers and construction workers to go online and directly check if they can claim extra cash back for work-related expenses, amid concerns they could be missing out on their full tax relief entitlement by using agencies instead.
The tax authority says some 85% of eligible taxpayers currently pay agents to claim their money, but points out that anyone who is paid via PAYE could claim the full amount of tax relief they are owed directly from HMRC, using its online ,Check if You Can Claim, tool.
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 three weeks.
HMRC says healthcare workers, people in food and retail and those in the construction industry are among the top professions to put in claims, which are typically for repairing or replacing tools and branded uniforms, professional subscriptions and mileage.
Taxpayers 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 (but not commuting); travel and overnight expenses; and professional fees and subscriptions.
Records need to be kept of expenditure and receipts, and claims must be made within four years of the end of that tax year. Eligible employees will be paid tax relief at the rate of pay that they pay tax.