Many people find the tax system complicated and confusing. This can make it difficult to know if you are entitled to any kind of tax relief. This includes those working in the hospitality industry, who may not realise that they may be able to make a claim. A few simple steps could help workers save a significant amount of money.
If your workers are members of a professional union, and that union is approved by the tax office, they may be able to claim tax relief on any membership or subscription fees. The amount that can be claimed does vary between unions, so you will need to check. Some will only offer partial relief, but it is possible to claim on the full fee for other unions.
If your workers wear a uniform, they may be able to claim an allowance for uniform maintenance. This applies for any compulsory uniform that is purchased by the worker, and for which cleaning and maintenance (and if necessary, replacement) are also the worker’s responsibility. If they paid income tax in the same year, basic rate payers could claim back £12 and those on a higher rate could claim £24. It can even be claimed for previous years, as far as 2014. You can find government advice on claiming tax relief on uniforms and other work expenses at https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees.
Small work expenses paid out of a worker’s own pocket can easily become a significant amount. This could include travel expenses if travelling between different work locations, for instance, different branches of the same restaurant chain, or visiting suppliers and equipment expenses, in a restaurant, this could be anything from knives to walk in cold rooms such as those supplied by fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/cold-rooms/integrated-cold-rooms. All that is needed is a picture of the receipt recording the claim.
How to avoid fraudsters
There are more potential sources of tax relief than you might expect, but you cannot always trust what sounds like a good deal. Scammers may try and text, phone or e-mail workers promising non-existent rebates. HMRC only contacts people through letters or directly through an employer. Workers should be careful when sharing personal information (especially with unfamiliar people or companies) and contact their bank or building society immediately if they suspect they may have been defrauded.