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Claiming tax relief for union subs

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by 60sunnysmile, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    In an effort to save on my monthly bill, I have read that I can claim tax relief on my annual/monthly NEU subs. Has anyone done this? Are you with a union? My subs are £22 monthly and luckily I have never needed them for anything. Thoughts about whether it is worth the money?
  2. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    You can
    Ring HMRC and talk to them
    60sunnysmile likes this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Do you mean are union subs worth the money? Definitely, no-one should teach without being a union member. What if unfounded safeguarding allegations are made against you? What if your head tries to get rid of you? (That's assuming you're still working although as you've posted in the retirement forum maybe you aren't?)

    Most of your union membership subscription is tax deductible ( a small amount isn't) so check with NEU how much is tax deductible. NEU will have agreed the tax deductible amount with HMRC. You can go back and reclaim the tax for the last 4 years, ie for 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 as well as the current 2019/20 tax year so check with NEU the amount you can reclaim for previous years too.

    There are companies that will make the claim for you but they take a % fee of the amount recovered. Waste of time and money IMO, you can do it yourself direct with HMRC here

    Piranha, strawbs, Prim and 2 others like this.
  4. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    Thanks for your comments. I am still teaching at the moment and planning for retirement soon hence the cost cutting exercise with my monthly bills.
    I just did a straw poll here at work and I am the only teacher in a union, - even the head of department has never been in a union. I do feel its worth the peace of mind but I am really surprised at how many teachers do not agree with me, so just asking for opinions in this forum.
    I will get in touch with NEU and HMRC to sort out the tax relief myself and not use a third party - thanks for the link and detailed info. .
    Piranha and emerald52 like this.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Wow! I've never heard of a school like that. Is it a private school?

    There are not many things about which I would confidently predict what the overwhelming majority of TES posters think, but the vital importance of being in a union is one of them. There are regular new members here who come for advice about the awful situation they are in at their school who start their post "Unfortunately I am not in a union and can't afford a solicitor....".
    1970devon, strawbs, emerald52 and 2 others like this.
  6. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    The fact they are not in unions explains rise in SLT bullying culture
    Dorsetdreams, Prim and 60sunnysmile like this.
  7. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    Not a private school, just a lot of teachers not thinking about unions. All are in the teachers pension though most don't even know about the firefighters court case and the possible impact this may have on their pensions.
  8. paulstevenjones

    paulstevenjones New commenter

    The unions have really dropped the ball on this. They are very complacent in my opinion. They need to improve. We have two full time NEU reps in my borough and they are invisible. I am in the NAHT and their preoccupation seems to be organising extremely expensive courses.
    60sunnysmile likes this.
  9. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    Thanks again! I have just finished my online application for my tax relief which for the past 4 years comes to £150. Hopefully all is well with my application and I get it soon to add it to my retirement fund. :)
    Piranha and emerald52 like this.
  10. springmorning

    springmorning New commenter

    You can also claim tax relief on your professional fees. In Scotland, General Teaching Council. Do it the same way as you have claimed for union fees.
    60sunnysmile likes this.
  11. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    Thanks. I currently don't have any professional fees but I will keep this in mind for the future.
  12. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    Just a quick update. Today I received a cheque from HMRC in the post for just over £100. I will phone them on Monday to see why it wasn't closer to the £150 that I had calculated.
  13. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    They might be putting some of it into your tax code.
    60sunnysmile likes this.
  14. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    In the post today, I received the calculation from HMRC. The £100 was for the 3 tax years from 2015 up to 2018. I also signed up to the "My Account" service on HMRC and found all the calculations on there too. I was wondering where the calculation for the tax year 2018/19 was as it did not arrive in the post. After Further investigation I found the following on my HMRC account:
    Income Tax for 6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019 will be calculated over the coming months, usually between June and October. Your Income Tax will be updated when that happens.
    I estimate another £36 for that year still to come to me so all in all it has been a very lucrative hour following a simple online claiming process. I don't remember where I read about this but thanks to that person and everyone on this forum who gave me such useful and detailed information and links. I hope other teachers reading this thread will find it useful. :)
    Sundaytrekker likes this.

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