Claiming Mileage If You Are a Relief Teacher

Being a teacher is arguably one of the most rewarding professions, but wouldn’t it be great if it could be more financially rewarding too? There are various allowances that can be claimed in some circumstances.

Mileage Allowance

Business mileage is one of the more obvious entitlements, although not everyone is aware if they qualify. HMRC will not reimburse travel expenses for a regular commute to the same place of work. If you are travelling around without a regular employment station, it would be worth keeping a mileage log and investigating the merits of filing a claim.


Karen works as a primary teacher in a permanent position at her local school. She is not entitled to claim during this time. Her husband Geoff also teaches, but he does relief teaching and visits many schools across the region, with no fixed school to work in.

Last year, he travelled a total of 1,000 miles using his own car and his employer paid him 25p per mile. The total allowable amount is £450 (1000 times 45p). Bearing in mind the allowance Geoff received from his employer is £250 (1000 times 25p), his Mileage Allowance Relief is £200 (£450 less £250). The Mileage Allowance Relief lowers the level of income you pay tax on. This means that your tax bill will be reduced by £200 at 20% (if on the basic tax rate) or by 40% for those on the higher rate tax.

There may be some differences in the approved mileage rate, so it is always worth checking the latest rates. This is an example for illustrative purposes only, and you will need to make certain that your precise circumstances are eligible before submitting an application.

Other Claims

There are many memberships or professional fees that qualify under tax rebate schemes for teachers, including memberships of unions such as the NUT or NASUWT. In addition to the initial tax rebate, the amount is also reflected in the teacher’s tax code, which means they also end up paying less in tax for the rest of their membership period.

You might even be eligible for a clothing allowance. Don’t go shopping just yet, though – the clothing tax relief is very restricted. It would cover specialist sportswear if you are contractually obliged to supervise sports or other activities. It does not, however, cover a new suit for the start of term.

Use our free calculator to find out how much income tax you could be entitled to reclaim.

Calculate Tax Rebate