4 Ways to save on your membership

Published: 4th October 2022

At the HA, we know that budgets are tight and being able to afford access to the best resources, CPD, guidance and support can be difficult. In addition to tax relief, there are a number of other ways that you can save money on your membership fee:

  1. Claiming tax relief on your membership
  2. Renewing by Direct Debit
  3. Asking your employer to cover the cost
  4. MAT membership options 

1. Claiming tax relief on your membership

Saving you 20% or more every year

As a UK taxpayer, you could save money on your Historical Association membership fee through tax relief. The HA is an approved professional body for this purpose.

Better still, if this is the first time you are claiming tax relief, you can do so for the current tax year and also backdate a claim for the previous four tax years.

To claim tax relief on HA membership fees:

  • your membership fees must be paid by you and not by your employer (or claimed back through them)
  • your membership must directly relate to your current job.

You can make a claim by accessing the HMRC gateway, although you may first wish to run a self-assessment to check your claim is eligible.

How much can I claim?

How much you can claim will depend on a number of factors including how much your annual fees cost and your tax situation. As a guide, members who pay basic rate Tax in the UK can claim up to 20% on their HA membership fees. This rises to 40% for higher rate Tax payers. 

How far back can I claim tax relief?

You have four years from the end of the tax year in which you paid the membership subscription fee to claim tax relief. The tax year begins on 6 April in one year and ends on 5 April the following year. As we are currently in the 2024/25 tax year, this means you can make a claim going back to 6 April 2020 (the 2020/2021 tax year), but this may depend on your personal circumstances during that period. There are also deadlines for getting your claim to HMRC. 

Where can I find more information?

Detailed information on making a claim is available on the HMRC website, or you can call them on 0300 200 3300.

Please note that we at the HA are unable to provide specific advice as to whether you are eligible to claim; you must determine this based on the information provided by HMRC and your personal circumstances. 

What if I’ve retired/am a student?

Most retired members and students cannot claim tax relief on their membership, because the membership must relate directly to employment. However you can claim tax relief if you are a student or trainee teacher and receipt of a professional salary through a schools-based training route.

Using a tax refund company

Tax refund companies are businesses that specialise in services that can help you submit a claim to HMRC for a tax refund. However, these companies charge you for this service and this charge could significantly reduce the net amount that you will receive from your tax refund.

The HA does not partner with a tax refund company. For most members, submitting a claim directly to the HMRC using the HMRC gateway link above is a straightforward process.

2. Renewing by Direct Debit

If you are due to renew your membership in the near future, you can sign up for Direct Debit to save 10% on the total cost of this year’s membership fee. Direct Debit is one of the safest and most convenient ways of paying your bills:

  • It makes renewing much easier going forward – you don’t need to do anything or fill in any forms in future
  • It reduces the possibility of forgetting to renew, so your membership runs continuously without interruption
  • The Direct Debit Guarantee protects you and your money in the unlikely event that there is an error in the payment of a Direct Debit, for instance if a payment is collected on the incorrect date, or the wrong amount is collected
  • You remain in control as a payer – you will receive advance collection notice of at least 10 working days and can cancel your Direct Debit at any time

A Direct Debit form will always be included in your renewal notice letter, or you can download and return a digital copy here: Word version | PDF version. Please email the completed form to membership@history.org.uk

3. Asking your employer to cover the cost

If you are currently paying for membership out of your own pocket to support you with professional development, you might want to consider whether your employer would be willing to cover the cost of membership for you, or better still, they may be willing to sign up for corporate membership to cover the cost of membership to support staff across your school or organisation.

You can find out more about the advantages of school membership here:


4. MAT membership options

If you are part of a Multi-Academy Trust or federation, or a soft federation of local authority schools, you can save money on your HA membership by signing up for membership together in bulk. We offer a group package multiple schools signing up for membership together starting from a minimum of 5 schools.

This is based on a banded sliding scale roughly proportionate to the number of schools that join – so for example if 5 or more schools join you can all benefit from a 5% discount on corporate membership and so on up to a cap of 20%. This is based on all schools signing up (or renewing) at the same time together in bulk. 

Visit our MAT information page or email us for a quote.