The incredible work of NHS staff and other key workers is something which has been honoured by the UK population in recent weeks. The weekly “Clap for carers” tribute not only recognises the efforts of NHS employees, but also salutes the tremendous work being carried out by other key workers – from delivery drivers and supermarket staff, to care workers and bin collectors. Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact not only in the UK but across the world. Hundreds and thousands of people have sadly lost their lives, and so many others losing their loved ones.
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The crisis is also having an impact on the UK economy too, and as the UK lockdown continues, many are worrying about job security and finances.
With making ends meet being a significant worry for so many right now, millions of UK workers are being reminded that they may be missing out on tax entitlements – something which could help to take some of the pressure off.
In fact, one in three UK taxpayers can get a tax rebate, and many of these entitlements can be backdated to five years if they haven’t been claimed before.
This includes rebates for uniformed workers – something which will apply to many key workers in the coronavirus crisis.
This is something which Tony Mills, Director of Uniform Tax Rebate, has explained in more detail.
“Uniformed workers are at the heart of the current coronavirus crisis.
“While many white-collar workers can work from home, uniformed workers are either on the frontline in healthcare, supermarkets, deliveries, and emergency services, or are facing redundancy or furlough leave such as in the airline and hospitality industries,” he said.
“If you wear a uniform at work and you’re expected to purchase, clean, repair and replace it, there’s a chance you might be able to claim a portion of tax back.”
With basic-rate taxpayers able to claim £12 and higher-rate taxpayers £24 per year, backdated to five years, Mr Mills pointed out that a significant sum of money could be reclaimed.
“This could mean a £60 boost for a basic-rate taxpayer,” he said.
“Uniform allowances in healthcare are generally higher as HMRC recognises the need to use a hot wash to stop the spread of germs.
“Nurses of all grades, including midwives, are also entitled to a shoe and tights allowance if a prescribed style is compulsory, worth £18 a year for both.”
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Mr Mills also highlighted how some employees may be entitled to further tax relief, should they be a member of a professional society or organisation.
“Currently, staff at over 3,000 organisations across the UK are eligible if they’ve paid for their membership themselves and it relates to their role,” he pointed out.
“The exact amount you could be entitled to depends on the agreement you have in place between your union and the tax office.
“While some agreements allow tax relief on the full union fee, others only allow a small percentage.”
Mr Mills suggested it could be worthwhile finding out how much tax an individual can claim back even if they no longer work in the profession.
This is because they could potentially be entitled to a healthy windfall backdated up to five years.
“It only takes a couple of minutes online to check what you could be entitled to using an online calculator,” he added.
Refunds are usually issued within one to three months, although it does depend on HMRC’s processing times.
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