Teachers – are you due a tax refund?
Many teachers are due a tax refund and can also reduce the amount of tax that they are due to pay on an ongoing basis. With the average claim apparently being worth £200-£250, it is a great return for a 5 minute job!
Read on to find out how to do it quickly, easily and completely free of charge.
It is your responsibility to check your tax code and HMRC will not inform you if you have been paying too much tax – it is up to you to contact them. Firstly check your tax code – if it is 1150L then you are not getting tax relief on your subscriptions and should look into claiming this back. If your tax code is different to this, you may already be getting tax relief, but it is worth checking with HMRC.
Some teachers can also claim for the laundering of specialist clothing, such as PE clothing, worn only for the purposes of your job.
Teachers who routinely have to travel between schools for work purposes can often also claim tax relief on this expenditure too.
There are 5 options for claiming tax relief on your subs and I will look at the merits of each way below.
1 Use HMRC online form
After registering for the Government Gateway you can then fill in the online form. The form is really easy to fill in, however if you are claiming for more than one year you need to fill in all the required information for each tax year which can be quite frustrating.
2 Use HMRC offline form
Use form P87, downloadable from HMRC website. After completing the form, print it off and sign it. Then go back, adjust it for the next tax year, print that year off and sign it and then repeat the process for subsequent tax years. This is easier than using the online form, but at 5 pages per form it seems a waste of paper!
3 Phone HMRC
If you phone 0300 200 3300, you can deal with your claim over the phone. Phoning before 10am will give you the best chance of having the phone answered before you lose the head with automated voices.
4 Use a tax refund company
There are various companies who will make a claim on your behalf and will take up to 50% of your refund as a fee. I would not recommend this method, as it is easy and free to do it yourself, but it is better than not claiming it at all.
5 Write to HMRC
I have made a template letter with all the information required – all you need to do is add your own personal details, check your subscription rates, print and sign the letter. Then send it to Pay As You Earn and Self-Assessment, HM Revenue & Customs, BX9 1AS. This is the method I prefer, as it is the quickest. You can get a copy of this letter below.
To start your claim gather the following information:
Your NI No: AB 12 34 56 C
Employer: your employer’s name, address and postcode
Employer’s PAYE ref: e.g. from P60, in format 123/456791
Employee’s ref: your payroll number from your payslip
The amount paid in professional subscriptions this year and for the previous 4 tax years.
How to find out what you have paid in professional fees?
Finding out how much you have paid in subs for the past 4 years can be time-consuming, so I have spent some time gathering the relevant information for most of the different teaching unions. This information can be downloaded immediately below, along with the template letter to send to HMRC.
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Another area of financial concern to teachers is over pensions and the fact that, for many of us, the retirement age in now 68! If this is something that concerns you, then you should start figuring out how you can still retire early.
If you have any suggestions for how to improve this post, please let me know, because I want to make it as simple as possible for people to claim their refund.
I am Eileen Adamson, a Your Money, Sorted coach, working online with UK based women, helping them to develop a better relationship with money. By gaining an understanding of how their personality affects the decisions they make, I can help them to implement changes which will allow them to feel calm, positive and confident that they are in control and making good financial decisions. I can then support them to put into place simple strategies that will allow them to manage their finances effectively on a daily basis and create a stable, secure and exciting future for themselves.