If you are an employee in the care sector, you could be missing out on a care worker tax rebate. This involves claiming tax back on certain expenses related to your job.
The rebate is open to any employee in the healthcare industry. When you find yourself in the position of purchasing items specifically for your work, then you might be entitled to a tax rebate.
Some rules apply so you need to ensure you are eligible first. This guide walks you through the eligibility criteria and the claims process.
What’s a Care Worker Tax Rebate?
A care worker tax rebate is a refund which employees in the care sector may be entitled to claim from HMRC.
The rebate reimburses work related expenses which have not been covered by the employer. Expenses which might qualify for a tax rebate include work uniform, footwear, training courses, travel expenses, and professional subscriptions.
A P87 tax form is used to apply for the tax rebate. The form is easy to fill out, and a claim can be made online or via post. You do not need to use a claims company to do this.
Who Can Claim?
Anyone who is employed in the care and health industry can apply for the care worker tax rebate. As long as employees are on the PAYE system and pay tax, they can apply using the P87 form.
What you will receive in the rebate will depend on what expenses you are eligible to claim for and the tax rate you currently pay.
The following employed healthcare workers can apply for a rebate:-
- Care home staff
- Agency care workers
- First responders
- Occupational therapists
- Hospice workers
- Health visitors
To fill in the P87 tax form, you will need your National Insurance number, employee number, employer’s PAYE number, any receipts and proof of any contributions made by your employer.
What Expenses Can Be Claimed For by Care Workers?
The list is quite extensive when it comes to things you can claim back on. However, all items you are claiming must be on the official HMRC list.
It is also important to understand that the tax rebate will not cover your initial purchases of things like uniforms.
Rather, the rebate is there to help cover the costs of repairs and laundering. If you are supplied with what you need and wish to purchase something different, it is not likely you can claim.
Here’s what healthcare workers are eligible to apply for a tax relief on:-
Uniform & Laundry Costs
Care workers can claim a tax rebate on uniform and laundry costs. If your job requires you to have specialist clothing then you can claim back on any replacements you need.
You can also claim for any repairs you need to make and any laundering that is required. However, it is worth bearing in mind that you cannot claim if your employer offers their own laundry service.
PPE is not covered in the tax rebate and cannot be claimed for. PPE should either be provided for free by your employer or you should be reimbursed directly from your employer after purchase.
Tights & Shoes for Nurses
In addition to the uniform rebate, you can also claim back on tights and shoes you need for work purposes.
This is known as the EIM67200 and means nurses, care workers and other healthcare professionals, can claim this extra tax allowance. It covers the replacement and repair of shoes, stockings and tights.
Certain workplaces require a particular type of shoe to be worn. This is also the case for tights and they often need to be a specific colour too. If your workplace does not require a strict uniform then you cannot apply for this.
Vehicle Mileage & Fuel
The tax rebate for care workers also covers some of the costs of vehicle mileage and fuel. You can claim the mileage tax rebate if you use your own car for work.
This is an approved flat rate and includes owning and running car vehicle costs. It is important to note that you cannot claim each expense separately (such as fuel and repairs). It all falls under the one flat rate.
If you use a company car for your job, then you can use the rebate to claim back on electricity and fuel used. This is only the case for business trips.
When your employer pays towards the hire car upkeep, then the tax rebate will make up any difference.
Professional & Union Fees
When you work in the healthcare industry, you may need to pay for professional subscriptions and union fees.
This doesn’t include every subscription you sign up for but any that you need as part of your qualification requirements. This includes signing up to relevant bodies that are a statutory part of your job.
The approved organisations are listed by HMRC. You will not be able to claim back expenses on any additional ones you sign up for. You also cannot claim back the expenses if your employer has already paid for them.
Equipment & Tools
Equipment and tools also form part of the tax rebate process, where applicable. Should you need to buy large equipment to do your job, you may be able to claim back on such purchases.
For example, if you are a care worker who uses an online appointment system or needs to access courses, you can apply. You will need to be able to show you will not be using the item for prolonged private use. It’s not possible to apply for this if your employer provides you with the equipment you need.
You can also claim any small tools you need to do your job. This doesn’t cover the initial purchase but it will cover replacements and repairs.
See Also: Claim Tax Back on Tools – for more about how employees can claim a rebate on work tools.
Work Related Travel Expenses
If travelling forms part of your job role then you can claim a tax rebate in this instance too. Eligible expenses includes any food costs and any overnight accommodation expenses.
This doesn’t include the day to day travelling to work unless it is to a temporary location.
This rebate also covers the following:-
- Car parking charges.
- Congestion charges
- Business related calls.
- Printing costs incurred.
This is separate from the mileage tax rebate that you can also claim.
How Do I Claim a Care Worker Tax Rebate?
If you are eligible to claim a care worker tax rebate, then the process is straightforward. You can easily do this yourself.
You can claim online which is the easiest way to get the ball rolling. All you need is a government gateway personal account which you can set up on the HMRC website. You can also apply by post (with a few restrictions) and by telephone where necessary.
A P87 is used to apply for a care worker tax rebate. This is a form only to be used by employees who pay taxes and are enrolled on the PAYE system.
Self employed care workers do not use the P87 and they must use their self assessment.
How Will Tax Rebates be Paid?
Once you have applied for your tax rebate, you need to wait for HMRC to process your claim. The process varies in length depending on how busy they are at the time and how complicated your claim is.
The more straightforward claims are typically dealt with faster. For the current tax year, HMRC will make any adjustments required to your tax code.
If you are backdating your claim, then you will usually be issued a lump sum.
Using a Tax Refund Company
There are tax refund companies out there you can use to help apply for tax relief. However, HMRC advises against this as many tax payers have run into issues with dubious business practises which has left them out of pocket.
When you make the claim yourself, you keep everything you are entitled to. When you hire a company on your behalf, you will owe them a percentage of your rebate.
The online process is very simple to follow and HMRC has all the information you need on its website. It makes far more sense to cut out the middleman and apply directly to HMRC using a P87 form.