Millions of flexible and permanent workers across the UK are not claiming a uniform allowance, despite the fact that they could be due up to £140 a year from HMRC.

Contractors in the manufacturing sector are among those who could get the highest amount back from HMRC if they claimed for the hard hats or steel toe-capped boots they wear for work.

The flexible workforce may be eligible for the allowance even if they did not purchase their work gear themselves or if they have to repair, replace or even wash their own uniform.

Basic rate taxpayers can currently claim £12 a year; however, this figure rises significantly for higher-rate tax payers and workers such as joiners, carpenters, and steel and iron workers.

Contractors who have not claimed before can claim for the previous four years in addition to the current tax year, which could net them a larger three-figure windfall.

A spokesperson for Workwear Express said: “If your job requires you to wear a particular uniform or outfit, and you have to wash and repair it yourself, then you should be benefiting from a small tax allowance. If you haven’t been claiming in the past, you could be due a rebate.”

Expense guidelines for contractor’s state that tax relief is only available on items of clothing deemed either protective or specialist, such as work overalls, helmets, boots and gloves.

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