Can I claim A Uniform Tax Refund if I Work As A Chef?

Tax Refunds For Chefs And Kitchen Employees

Do you work as a Chef or in the food industry? If so, you may be due a Tax Refund? If you work in the Catering sector you may be entitled to claim a government tax refund on certain work related expenses.

If you work as a chef or in the catering industry, it is likely that you are required to wear a uniform to work. You might also have to use some specialist equipment which you may have purchased yourself, in order to carry out your job. If this is the case, then these expenses you have incurred, along with any union fees you might pay, could mean you for a government tax refund. Carry on reading to see if you qualify and for help claiming what you are owed.

Uniform and Equipment

If you wear a uniform such as chef’s whites, protective clothing, or even a branded t-shirt, you can usually claim back for the cost of laundry. The standard rate for this is £60 per year. You can claim tax back on the allowance at the highest rate of tax you pay, so you would usually get 20% or 40% of that amount back, which works out as £12 or £24 per year.

You can also claim a tax rebate on the purchase of your chef’s whites or aprons if they have not been provided by your employer.

To comply with Health and Safety policies in kitchens, catering staff are also often required to wear non-slip safety footwear. If you have been required to cover this cost yourself, you can reclaim tax for the expenses you have incurred . Furthermore, you may be able to claim for certain other expenses you have incurred as a necessity of your job.

If you’re employed through the PAYE system as a chef or kitchen staff member, you can make expenses claims based on:

  • The cost of cleaning, repairing or replacing work clothes.
  • The cost of cleaning, repairing or replacing your essential work equipment.

Work equipment might include the following

  • Knives and sharpeners
  • General hand held cooking utensils (eg. Spatulas, wooden spoons etc.)
  • Graters, slicers and mandolins
  • Electrical appliances (eg. Sous-vide cookers, food processors etc.)
  • Saucepans and steamers
  • Cooking dishes
  • Baking trays and tins
  • Piping equipment
  • Crockery and glassware
  • Chopping boards

Clothing could be:

  • Compulsory uniforms with café/restaurant logo
  • Checked chef’s pants
  • Black or white chef’s jackets
  • Chef’s hats

Protective items might include:

  • Aprons
  • Non slip/steel cap shoes,
  • Hair nets
  • Gloves
  • Goggles

You can only claim a tax deduction for kitchen equipment if it was not supplied or reimbursed by your employer. You must also be able to provide proof of purchase. Items must be essential for your actual work, not just things you would ‘like’.

If you are self-employed chef or own your own catering company, there are different rules about what you can claim for. Again, it comes down to essential costs. When you are your own boss, even the initial purchase costs count against your tax bill.

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Chef training/education

As a chef you will be required to keep your skills up to date and this might mean going on training courses. This can be expensive but lots of self-education expenses for work-related courses are tax deductible.

For the purpose of a government tax refund, training courses need to be directly related to your current role. For instance, if you’re a dessert chef you could claim the expenses for a course in cake decorating but not for a course in preparing seafood.

Training courses need to be directly related to your current role. For instance, if you’re a soux chef you could claim the expenses for a course in cake decorating but not for a course in preparing seafood.

The expenses you may be able to claim include:

  • course/tuition fees
  • accommodation
  • travel expenses
  • equipment costs
  • computer and phone costs
  • stationery and textbooks
  • academic journals
  • student services and amenities fees
Travel Expenses And Mileage

If, during your work as a chef, you have used your own vehicle for business travel at any point during the last four years, then depending on whether or not your employer reimbursed you for that trip you may be eligible to claim back some tax. The amount will vary.

In a lot of cases, it’s the money you spend on travel that entitles you to a tax rebate. The rules surrounding tax relief say that any location you have worked at for under 24 months can count as a “temporary workplace” for tax purposes and it is this travel to temporary workplaces that is the subject of most tax refund claims.

It doesn’t matter if you are driving your own car or van or using public transport to get there. If you are spending your own money getting to and from the temporary workplace, you could qualify for a government tax refund.

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How Do I Start My Chef’s And Caterers Tax Refund?

You should collect together as much information as possible concerning your work as a chef and all the expenses you have incurred. Remember, you can claim expenses for up to 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:

  • Copies of payslips
  • Details of sites you have been located at
  • Notes of equipment you specifically have purchased for work reasons
  • Contract of employment
  • Other information you feel could be relevant to your claim

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.

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Check if you are due a Tax refund as an Chef or Food Industry worker