Healthcare workers – including nurses, ambulance staff, dentists and pharmacists to name but a few – represent a group of employees who are eligible to claim extra tax relief for certain expenses they pay as part of their job.
Here’s a simple guide to what tax relief you could be missing out on:
1. Professional memberships
Many workers in the healthcare sector must pay registration fees to a regulatory body to do their job and these payments are tax deductible.
If you’re a member of a professional body like NMC, HCPC or RCN for example and pay the subscription fees yourself, you can make a claim…worth 20 percent to a basic rate taxpayer.
If you have not claimed previously, you may be able to make a claim for the last four years. HMRC usually make any adjustments needed through your tax code for the current tax year and they will also apply any tax relief to your pay going forward, so you typically only need to claim once.
2. Uniform maintenance
If you wear a compulsory uniform at work or during off-site visits, you could be due a one-off rebate for the upkeep. This can be backdated to the last four tax years and received as a single payment, while any future claims will be paid in wages.
Uniform allowances in healthcare are generally higher than in other sectors as HMRC recognises the need to use a hot wash to stop the spread of germs. It only takes a couple of minutes online to check what you could be entitled to using an online calculator.
3. Mileage allowance
For those healthcare workers making off-site visits or travelling to temporary places of work, a tax rebate could be due.
If you use your own vehicle to travel to different locations for work and receive less than the standard 45p per mile from your employer in expenses, you can claim tax relief on the difference. Be sure to keep any travel or fuel receipts to make an expense claim via your employer first and foremost.
4. WAT scheme
If you’re an NHS employee who took part in the Widening Access Training scheme after 1999 you could be entitled to make a claim because national insurance and income tax shouldn’t have been taken from your wages.
However, there is a lack of definitive guidance on who can claim this back. It’s worth asking HMRC but claims have a high rejection rate and some claimants have had to return their refunds, so exercise caution.
5. Finally, stay safe…
Don’t fall victim to fraudsters who are sending fake emails and text messages promising tax rebates.
Never hand out any personal or payment details to companies you haven’t approached personally before or to HMRC who will only ever contact you via post or your employer.