Care Worker Tax Rebates: Are You Eligible?

December 06,2021

How to check if you’re eligible for a healthcare worker tax rebate


As the lifeblood of the NHS, healthcare workers play a huge role in the nation’s care. However, they’re often left out of pocket from extra expenses, such as travel costs, specialist clothing, and work association fees.

The good news is that if you’re a healthcare professional, you can claim back money for some of these expenses.

Whether you work for the NHS or in the public sector, you can qualify for a Healthcare Worker Tax Rebate to help reduce some of your outgoings. This rebate is available regardless of the specific healthcare role you have. 

To begin a tax rebate claim you need some key information to hand before you contact HMRC. The official Gov UK site will help you make your claim and explain everything you have to do. You will need to have records and receipts with you and can claim online, by post or on the phone.

If you need any help you can call HMRC directly, and can expect a response — along with your tax rebate — within two to three months. 

How helpful is a tax rebate in making savings? 

Healthcare workers can get a tax rebate on certain items, like uniforms, DBS checks and some work journeys. You can even backdate your claim for the last four tax-paying years. This will also then be applied to future years as your tax code will be altered, so you can continue to make savings down the line.

What can health workers claim on tax?

If you’re a healthcare worker and looking to save some money, you may be able to claim a tax rebate for the following common items:

Professional bodies and trade unions

Are you a member of a work association? If so, your subscription fees might be eligible for tax relief. For example, if you pay the British Medical Association or the Nursing Midwifery Council regular membership fees, then you can claim a tax rebate worth 20% or 40% of the annual amount. The amount of tax relief depends on whether you are a higher tax payer (40%) or basic rate tax payer (20%).

Do you subscribe to professional journals that help your work? Then you may be able to claim a tax rebate for these, too. Similarly, if your job requires you to purchase a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, you may be able to claim tax relief on it. 

Car expenses and business Mileage 

You can’t claim for normal daily commutes, but you can claim if you use your own vehicle to travel to a temporary workplace. You’ll have to provide records of your business mileage, such as the locations of your journeys, the distances you’ve gone and the total amount of mileage allowance payments you’ve had. Car parking costs and toll charges might also be included. As always, you will need receipts.

What about public transport? If you don’t travel in your own vehicle, you might also be able to claim for bus or train tickets. The same goes for taxi fares if you work in a community role that requires visiting patients in their homes. 

Equipment and clothing 

Tax relief can cover items bought to enhance the performance of your work. For instance, if your employer has not provided you with appropriate PPE and you’ve had to purchase them for yourself, you could claim a tax rebate. 

Items such as laptops or office chairs would also be eligible for tax relief, providing you have a receipt or proof of purchase. HMRC generally allows you to claim on any item that has a lifespan of more than two years.

Shoes and tights are also eligible for tax relief by those who buy them for work use and don’t get reimbursed by their employers. The current allowances are £6 per tax year for tights, and £12 for shoes.

You can also claim on uniform laundry services. If your workplace doesn’t have laundry facilities and won’t compensate you for taking it elsewhere, you can claim tax relief back on these costs. The uniform washing allowance for healthcare workers is currently £125 per tax year. 

Other expenses

Do you sometimes have to travel for work and stay overnight? The cost of your accommodation or hotel room, along with food or meals, may be eligible for a tax rebate. Just make sure you keep hold of receipts for your hotel and meal expenses. 

Working from home might be considered as an expense you can claim against, too  — but only if it is not your personal choice to do so. This includes if you have to work from home because of COVID-19 restrictions.  

In this situation, you can claim tax relief for additional household costs if you are asked to work at home on a regular basis (for all or part of the week).  You might be able to claim for metered water, gas and electricity, as well as business phone calls and internet access. It’s worth noting, however, that you can’t claim for the whole bill — only the part that relates to your work.

Financial support for NHS and public sector workers

As mentioned before, all these hidden work expenses can add up. If you find yourself struggling to cover bills and other outgoings even after tax relief — or if an unexpected large expense crops up — you might want to consider applying for a loan to tide you over. 

Personal loans should always be taken out with caution. And if you do decide this is the route you want to go down, look for an affordable loan from an ethical company, like Salad Money. As a for-profit social enterprise, we’re here to put a stop to toxic lending. We lend up to £1,000 to workers in the NHS and the public sector. 

Why not get in touch for more information or apply online now?