An online tax rebate company is offering to claim back money for the upkeep of your health care uniform. Sarah Kean-Price investigates if you could benefit and looks for the catch. Sarah Kean-Price

Cutting out the middle man between NI contributions and your pay: The NHS and Healthcare Worker Tax Rebate Facebook page. If you work in health care, you may have noticed quite a few of your Facebook friends liking the ‘NHS and Healthcare Worker Tax Rebate’ page. I certainly have and thought it’d be worth all our time to have a look-see and get a feel for just what this is.

Is it real? Is it a scam?

Companies that claim to get you money back through some scheme or other can seem a little dodgy. After all, why would they do it if there wasn’t anything in it for them? You’ve surely received 1001 robot phone calls about PFI claims and spam galore along similar veins – The Healthcare Worker Tax Rebate page makes the whole process seem so easy and rewarding, it sounds almost too good to be true!

However, at the time of writing, the page had a whopping 85, 492 likes, 18,662 people talking about it and multiple posts of “thank-you, got my money!”; with figures like that, surely a scam would have fizzled out long before?. For the moment, we’ll give the Healthcare Worker Tax Rebate the benefit of the doubt for the moment and have a look.

So, what is this tax rebate service?

Visiting their site, they tell us that health care sector workers can get tax rebates on their uniform and uniform upkeep, union dues, professional fees and money back for shoes, socks and tights.

The site offers to process your claim for you for a £10 fee and a further 20% of the refund including VAT. If Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs decide you aren’t entitled to a rebate, then you don’t have to pay any fees at all. If you get a refund and then forget to claim it back from them, they’ll charge you £25 a year as a holding fee.

How do you do it?

You tell them which tax years you worked as a healthcare worker and give them your basic details. Next, you receive a Claim reference, a checklist, instructions and your claim form for printing off and filling out.

Who is it for?

The claim form gives a full rundown of the uniformed staff that may be able to claim:

• Active ambulance staff • Nurses and midwives • Chiropodists • Dental nurses • Occupational, speech and physiotherapists • Phlebotomists • Radiographers • Orderlies, porters, ward clerks, sterile services workers, domestic and catering staff • Laboratory staff, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants • Maintenance workers, grounds and estates staff, drivers, security guards, receptionists, parking attendants and ‘other uniformed staff’. • Those that have to wear a certain colour or style of tights or socks (men are clearly included here) and shoes.

Union and professional body registration is also claimable. You can get money back if you pay out any to:

• Unison • RCN • NMC • HCPC • RCM • SoR • IBMS • GDC • GphC • Professional Indemnity Insurance • The CRB for your check • Trade Publications like the Nursing Times

The fees and and subscription rates are helpfully included so you can work out just how much you are owed.

Whats the catch?

Having a poke on the Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions small print, you can see that they may use your personal information to send you details about other their affiliates products and services but won’t sell it to anyone. They also will destroy your details after you don’t need to access them anymore. And you can opt-out of the affiliate marketing.

So, you might get a bit of contact about various offers from other companies they choose to promote but you can tell them not to and they’ll take £10+20% of your refund but, apart from that, it all sounds pretty good! Let us know on our Facebook page how you got on – we’re sure other staff would like to hear about it!

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