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Uniform Tax Allowance for Builders and Mechanics

Published: 3 August 2020

As a builder or mechanic, the lines can sometimes be a little blurred on what you can and can’t claim tax relief for when it comes to the uniform tax allowance, but our uniform tax guide is here to make it clearer.

Uniform tax relief for CIS builders

If you work under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) and don’t have a uniform that you need to wear on the construction site (for example, you wear your own jeans and t-shirt), you can’t claim a tax rebate on this.

You can, however, claim expenses on compulsory protective wear (for example, high-viz jackets or steel-cap boots).

Uniform tax relief for PAYE builders

If you work for a construction firm as a PAYE builder and have a uniform that you must wear when working (for example, a shirt with a logo), that you also wash yourself, you will be able to reclaim tax on this.

The construction firm you’re working for should provide you with any compulsory protective equipment. However, if you have to pay for this yourself, you can also claim tax back.

Read our guide to builders expenses to discover what else you can claim as an expense as a builder.

How much is the standard tax rebate for uniformed builders?

The flat rate uniform expense for builders depends on your specific trade, but the current rates are as follows:

Flat Rate Uniform ExpenseYearly rebate amount for basic rate tax payers (20%)Yearly rebate amount for higher rate tax payers (40%)
Joiners and carpenters£140£28£56
Cement works, roofing felt and asphalt labourers£80£16£32
Labourers and navvies£60£12£24
All other workers£120£24£48

How far back can I claim uniform tax allowance?

You can claim a tax rebate for up to four years, so if you’re a basic-rate taxpaying joiner, you could receive a tax rebate of up to £112.

For example: four years of a £28 rebate each year = 4 x £28 = £112

Uniform tax relief for mechanics

Much like for builders, if you’re a mechanic who wears their own clothes to the garage, you won’t be able to reclaim tax on this. However, if you wear a shirt with the garage’s logo on, overalls, or other protective equipment that you’ve had to buy or wash yourself, you will be able to claim tax back for this.

How much is the standard tax rebate for uniformed mechanics?

There is a flat-rate uniform expense allowance of £120 per tax year for mechanics working in a garage repair shop. This means that as a basic rate taxpayer (20%), you could claim back £24. As a higher rate taxpayer (40%), you could claim back £48 per year.

How can Brian Alfred help?

The team at Brian Alfred are experts at ensuring you get the most out of your tax rebate as a mechanic or builder, including making sure you get the correct amount back for having to wear or launder a uniform.

For more information, get in touch with our team.

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