70 percent of nurses and midwives are still not claiming tax relief on their registration fees

Published on 24 September 2014

Thousands of nurses and midwives are still not claiming tax relief on their annual registration fee, a survey by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has found.

Nurses and midwives who do not claim tax relief on their annual NMC registration fee could also be missing out on tax relief on their subscription to their union or professional body, laundering of their uniform or for tights and shoes.

Nurses and midwives are eligible to claim tax relief on the NMC annual registration fee which at the current fee level of £100 is worth £20** per year. They are also able to claim for subscriptions to trade unions and professional bodies, laundering of their uniforms*** and for tights and shoes*** purchased as part of their uniform. This could be worth up to £177* for nurses and midwives.

Claire Lee, 27, a Paediatric Research Nurse at Addenbrookes Hospital, part of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“I recently claimed tax relief on my NMC registration fee and RCN subscription for the first time since I qualified back in 2009.  I kept putting off doing it as it seemed to be a difficult and lengthy process but I couldn’t believe how easy it was. A colleague encouraged me to complete the form, which I could back-date for five years. It only took me around half an hour to complete and all I had to do was print the form from the RCN website and fill in some personal details. I confirmed with the NMC and RCN how much I had paid towards subscription and registration fees for each year claimed, which was a simple phone call. I used the money I got back to put towards savings for a house – I was surprised how much it amounted to!

“I would encourage all nurses and midwives to complete this simple process and claim back the tax they are entitled to.”

Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC, Jackie Smith said:

“I would strongly encourage all the nurses and midwives on our register to claim tax back on both their annual registration fee and on other fees such laundering of uniforms and any subscriptions they may hold with a union or professional body. It is an easy process which could be worth over £170 a year.”

Nurses and midwives who have not previously claimed can also claim tax relief for up to the previous four tax years.

Nurses and midwives are able to claim tax relief on their annual registration fees, professional subscriptions, tights, shoes and laundering of their uniforms through HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).


  • * Based on a sample survey of 510 nurses and midwives between May and August 2014.
  • ** If you are a basic rate UK taxpayer. 
  • *** Nurses and midwives can claim £100 for laundering of uniforms provided their employer does not provide them with free laundry facilities / cleaning vouchers. They can also claim £6 per year for tights and £12 per year for shoes so long as they meet the prescribed conditions on colour and style. Professional fees based on £39.37 Full Nurse RCN membership and £20 NMC annual registration fee. Total = £177.37.
  • Tax relief on annual registration fees, subscriptions, tights, shoes and laundry costs can only be claimed via the HMRC. It is not a process that the NMC can undertake on behalf of nurses and midwives.
  • Nurses and midwives can claim their tax relief via personal tax returns or by contacting the HMRC via letter, phone or filling in a P180 tax review form.
  • The HMRC does not normally require written information from the NMC of the payments nurses or midwives have made. However the NMC is happy to provide payment histories over the phone on 020 7333 9333.

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