Many airlines offer an allowance for the upkeep of uniforms and certain equipment you need to do your job. For example, ‘Unite’ has agreed an allowance on behalf of cabin crew who work for BA, Virgin, Flybe, Monarch, Easyjet, Thomas Cook and Thomson for a uniform allowance of £720 per year, typically worth £144 in tax.
Similar allowances may also be available for cabin crew working with other airlines so even if you do not belong to a Unite you should apply or you may lose out. You can claim for this expenditure when you make a claim through us.
Other allowances exist for both cabin crew and pilots which we will discuss below, however, there is a time limit of four years on backdating claims, meaning it’s important to claim now. Always check your tax code to ensure that HMRC has updated your allowances to the newest rates.
Read on for role specific claims.
Commercial pilots are required to wear very specific uniforms to work and own certain accessories crucial to the role. As such you may be able to claim a government tax refund for items purchased by yourself in the course of your employment.
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has an ongoing agreement with HMRC allowing polits to claim a flat-rate allowance to cover the costs of certain items of equipment and uniform laundry. This includes sunglasses, a flight case and a duplicate passport. Flat Rate Expenses allowance (FRE) that apply to all uniformed pilots and co-pilots are now £1,132.
A further deduction of £110, previously £100, is made to cover allowable cost of travel to certain, regular specified events, such as: medical examinations, flight simulator sessions, crew resource management training, emergency and safety equipment training , technical refresher sessions, and fire and smoke training.
This allowance adds up to £1,132 worth of annual expenditure, meaning a possible tax refund of £226 to £450 per year to you depending on your tax code. If you have to purchase replacement uniform items you can claim separately for these costs at the same time as your Uniform Tax Refund claim
Most expenses for pilot’s equipment are covered in the flat-rate allowance. However, if your employer does not provide a noise cancelling headset you can claim for the cost of this.
In summary, pilots and co-pilots are also entitled to tax deductions on the following:
HMRC has approved the Independent Pilots Association as a joint body for Tax Relief on 50% of the subscription members’ pay. Pilots can also claim tax back on two thirds of the cost of their British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) subscriptions. As these costs are related to your salary, you’ll have to check your own records to find out how much you paid or contact BALPA to check this at firstname.lastname@example.org
Similar to pilots and co-pilots, industry wide FRE for airline cabin crew (steward and stewardess) has also been increased to £720 as agreed by the HMRC and the Unite union. This will be effective for 2013/14 onwards.
The £720 FRE that cabin crew are entitled to claim includes the cost of cleaning and laundering of uniform. If the airline requires staff to wear a uniform but does not provide one, employees who buy them are entitled to a deduction for the cost of replacement but not the initial purchase.
There are often other tax reliefs that cabin crew are entitled to, such as; hotel costs if you are required to stay overnight and this is not reimbursed by your employer; or using your own vehicle to travel to a temporary workplace. Each one has its own rules about what substantiating evidence is needed, if any, and you shouldn’t just assume that you have nothing to claim because you haven’t collected receipts.
If you work for an airline as cabin crew and your employer doesn’t contribute towards the cost of cleaning your uniform, you are eligible to claim a tax rebate from HMRC. Cabin crew can generally claim flat rate tax relief of £720 for the most recent tax year. You don’t need to provide any receipts or proof of actual expenditure incurred in order to claim. There is a time limit of four years on how far you can backdate your claim.
If the airline requires staff to wear a uniform but does not provide one, employees who buy them are entitled to a deduction for the cost of replacement but not the initial purchase.
There are often other tax reliefs that cabin crew are entitled to, such as; hotel costs if you are required to stay overnight where these are not reimbursed by your employer; or using your own vehicle to travel to a temporary workplace. Each airline has its own rules about what substantiating evidence is needed, if any, so don’t assume that you have nothing to claim because you haven’t collected receipts. We can help you claim a tax refund on these expenses.
As cabin crew you can claim tax relief on fees or subscriptions you pay to approved professional organisations if the membership is essential to your job.
You can not claim tax back on fees or subscriptions for:
As an airline worker you are entitled to claim back the cost of travel, food and drink and accommodation costs associated with working at a temporary workplace.
Expenses might include:
Once you have made your claim HMRC will adjust your tax code to include the expenses. This will then continue into any future years’ tax codes whilst in the same employment.
You should collect together as much information as possible concerning your work for an airline and all the expenses you have incurred. Remember, you can only claim expenses for up to the last four Tax years, even if you have since been made redundant, or changed jobs. This will not affect your current employment in any way or form.
Typical information needed to process your Security Tax refund would include:
The most important thing to remember is that the more information we have, the more chance of a bigger Tax repayment. No matter how little or irrelevant you think it might be, we could possibly make a claim for the expense.