Did you know, there is no need to use a special company to claim allowances such as the Marriage Allowance, Work from Home allowance or the allowance for uniforms!
It is simple and free! Your accountant doesn't usually charge extra (I certainly don't), but these companies charge, and sometimes a A LOT!
I have given a list below with links to HMRC's website on how to claim completely free of charge.
If you have an accountant, speak to them, because they will be able to tell you if claiming suits your circumstances and usually won't charge extra for their support (DBu Accounting certainly doesn't!)
All of my links go to gov.uk, hmrc.gov.uk or reputable websites and I do not earn referral fees or commissions or get anything out of this.
The Marriage Allowance can be used to transfer some of your personal allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner.
This can be up to £1,250 of your personal allowance, so for a person paying tax at 20% that is a potential saving of £250 per year.
You can even backdate it for up to 3 years!
It is usually most effective when one of you has low earnings under the personal allowance paying no tax, and the other pays tax.
If you have an accountant, speak to them, they can do it all for you and usually won't charge you any extra.
If you don't have an accountant:
There is more detail on HMRC's website at this link: https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance
You then have three options to claim:
If you submit a tax return, you can claim simply complete the Marriage Allowance section on there.
You can claim online. The link is here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-marriage-allowance
If you are unsure on which of you would be best to claim, you can speak to HMRC's Income Tax Helpline - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/income-tax-enquiries-for-individuals-pensioners-and-employees#marriage-allowance
Work from Home allowance
If your employer has required you to work at home at any time during the tax year, you can get a Work from Home allowance (currently £6 per week - 20/21 tax year)
This can be paid to you tax free by your employer, however as many are struggling at the moment, they may not be able to afford to do so.
You don't have to lose out though!
HMRC will refund the tax you would have saved:
Basic Rate (20%) taxpayer - can claim £1.20 per week (Total £62.40 per year)
Higher Rate (40%) taxpayer - can claim £2.40 per week (Total £124.80 per year)
Additional Rate (45%) taxpayer - can claim £2.70 per week (Total £140.40 per year)
HMRC have made it simple to see if you are eligible and to claim - click the green button at the bottom of the page at the following link. It will ask you some simple questions and tell you if you are eligible and if you can claim (and then how to!) - https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home
Uniform Tax Refund
If you wear a uniform, and have to wash, repair or replace it yourself.
Even if you only had to wear a uniform for part of the year, you can claim the relief for the full year!
Shirts branded with the company logo
Nurses / Social Care Workers or Carers requiring a uniform
These are just examples, there are others.
To be eligible ALL of the following must apply:
It has to be a recognisable uniform, such as a nurse/carer, paramedic, police or fire officer, but can also be eg if your employer requires you to wear a shirt that has a company logo on.
You have to wash it OR purchase it OR repair it yourself. You can't claim if your employer offers to, provides facilities to, or pays you to wash or repair it though.
You must have paid tax in the tax year you want to claim for.
Most people can backdate a claim if they have had to wear a uniform for longer than the current tax year.
The current standard rate is £60, so a basic rate (20%) taxpayer would get £12 each year:
There are special higher allowances for certain professions:
Ambulance staff, Firefighters and Fire Officers, Dental Nurses and Healthcare Assistants, Pilots and Co-Pilots and Mechanics!
A full list is at the bottom of the page at this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/job-expenses-for-uniforms-work-clothing-and-tools
Half way down there is a link to use the online service, but there is also a link to claim by post.
Check your Tax Code
If you have a job, checking your tax code can be the most important thing you can do.
This could mean that you are paying more tax each month than you should be, but it could also mean that you are paying less than you should, and it helps make sure you don't build up a big debt you will have to pay back in future!
The Money Saving Expert has an excellent and detailed guide on his website, and it explains how to claim.
The link is here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/check-tax-code/