What expenses can teachers claim for?
Teacher Tax Refund
In general, allowable expenses are the unavoidable costs you have to pay for your work. For teachers, they’ll tend to be things like:
- Professional subscription fees, for things like a teachers’ union.
- Specialist clothing you buy yourself, like protective gear for science teachers.
- Books, as long as they’re necessary for your teaching work.
Travel costs, other than your normal commute to and from home.
- This generally applies to temporary workplaces of under 24 months.
I’m a self-employed teacher or tutor. Can I still claim a teacher tax rebate?
Self-employed people pay their taxes through the self assessment system, so all their expenses are handled there. That said, many teachers aren’t even aware that they can claim for allowable expenses, meaning they’re paying too much tax. Always talk to RIFT if you’re not sure what expenses you can claim for. Our Self Assessment Tax Return service can do all the paperwork for you, saving you money and keeping you in HMRC’s good books.
I am employed full time as a teacher but have additional income. Do I have to declare it?
If you get additional income you need to declare it using self-assessment. Examples could be:
- Payments for selling lesson plans through online markets such as the TES.
- Income from books you have written (whether self published or paid in royalties via a publisher).
- Software you have written and sold.
- Income from property rental or savings and investments.
- Income from any other sources such as your own online shop such as Etsy.
- Get in touch if you need to check whether you should submit a
What professional fees count for tax relief claims?
Professional body fees
HMRC’s rules for claiming tax refunds on professional body fees aren’t well known. Essentially, you can claim tax relief as long as membership is either helpful or necessary to do your work. This includes union fees for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) or the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).
If you’ve paid things like regulator fees to a General Teaching Council, those costs can also count toward your tax refund claim. Even payments to the Institute for Learning (IfL), which closed its doors in 2014 can still be claimed for as you can claim for the last 4 tax years.
I have to buy sportswear and equipment. Can I get a tax refund on my spending?
If you’re a sport or PE teacher, then some of your costs can qualify for a tax refund claim. In general, you can claim for the cleaning, repair or replacement of any kit or equipment that’s necessary for your job. The same basic rules apply as for sport professionals, meaning eligible costs would include things like:
- Trainers, football boots or other specialised footwear.
- Tracksuits and other sportswear.
- Specialised sporting equipment, such as tennis rackets.
You can’t claim tax relief for initially buying your clothing or equipment. Only repair, cleaning and replacement costs are covered
by the rules. Also, general-purpose items like t-shirts and towels probably won’t get you a refund, even if you use them for work. Only things used specifically and exclusively for your job will count.