Note: I created this guide back in 2016. The process now has slight differences, but the guide below (and video) are still similar enough that the process is straightforward.
2021 Update: I have included a table of fees as the bottom to help make filling in the claim amount easier depending on your union.
Claim Back Your Union Subscription Fees
- Are you a member of a teaching union?
- Are your union subscription fees paid directly from your back account?
If so, read the information below to claim the significant tax refund that you are entitiled to.
If you are a member of a teaching union (e.g. NEU, NASUWT), you are entitled to claim tax relief on your union subscription fees. You can back claim for up to 5 years expenses (which usually gives a refund of about £180). This generally amounts to a 20% refund on your union subscription fees. It is a quick and easy process, which will take you about 20 minutes.
No technical expertise is required and it costs nothing to apply.
Claim your tax back in 15 minutes. (YouTube)
We are going to claim the tax directly from HMRC. Some online companies offer to collect your tax rebate for you. The most well known of these (Teacher Tax Rebate) charge 28% of your fees plus £30 (they make these fees hard to find on their website). On a standard claim of £180, you would lose £80. The simple fact they don't tell you is that it is actually just as easy to fill in the forms yourself as it is to apply through these companies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible to claim?
If you have not previously told HMRC that you pay union subscription fees, then you are eligible to claim back tax on your union subscription fees for the previous 5 years. This is the case for the vast majority of teachers.
If your union fees do not show up on your bank statement, then it is likely that your employer is deducting them directly from your wages. In this case, you will be receiving tax relief automatically and there is no need to apply.
How much will I be able to claim?
You can claim tax relief for the previous 5 tax years. If you have been paying the standard subscription rate for the full 5 years, you will be able to claim approximately £180.
The tax office will calculate the exact amount for you, but if you wish to get a more accurate estimate before applying you can perform the following calculation:
Multiply your monthly union subscription by 12 (this calculates the yearly fee). Then multiply by 0.2 to find 20%*. You can do this for each year.
Note: In the tables below I used a slightly more complex calculation to takes into account of subscriptions changing during the tax year (union subscription fees change in either Jan/Sept, but the tax year starts in April).
* This amount may be slightly higher if you earn over £43,000, as you would cross the tax threshold - the tax office will sort this for you.
Will I have to claim every year?
Hopefully not. Once the tax office have processed your claim, your tax code should be automatically adjusted and the tax relief will be applied automatically. You may have to apply again if your employer changes though.
What information will I need to provide?
You will need the following information to process your application:
- Your current home address
- A mobile telephone number (to received a text message verification)
- Your national insurance number
- Your 'Employer PAYE reference (this is on your P60 - see my YouTube video for more details)
Claim your tax back in 15 minutes. (YouTube)
Table Of Union Subscription Fees
The table below may help you determine common subscription fees for each union. Alternatively, if you have the time it may be worth checking your online bank statement if you want to double check the precise amounts.
|Tax Year||NASUWT Fees|
|Tax Year||NEU Fees|
Why have you provided this guide free of charge?
I think it is shameful that some companies charge to provide this service. I feel that they are being dishonest to deceive teachers into believing that they need someone else to claim for them, when the process is actually very simple.
If you have successfully claimed back money, feel free to buy me a pint using the donate button below. If you already use PayPal, it will take you less than a minute. Also, please share this page with your teacher friends using the options below.
Buy me a pint:
Link to this page: https://parkermaths.com/taxrebate (right click to copy)
Direct link the my video on claiming tax relief: https://parkermaths.com/taxrebatevideo (right click to copy)