Claiming tax relief on employment expenses

If you are an employee that needs to buy substantial equipment to use as part of your employment you may be able to claim tax relief. In most cases you can claim tax relief on the full cost of this type of equipment. Tax relief is reduced if your employer provides a financial contribution towards buying the item.

The way to claim tax relief depends on the amount you are claiming. HMRC provides the following information on making a claim:

Claims up to £2,500

You can make your claim:

  • Using a Self-Assessment tax return if you already file a return.
  • By using HMRC’s online service or by printing and posting form P87 if you do not file a tax return.
  • By phone if you have had a successful claim in a previous year and your expenses are less than £1,000 (or £2,500 for professional fees and subscriptions).

Claims over £2,500

  • You can only claim using a Self-Assessment tax return. You need to register if you do not file a return.

There are different rules if you are an employee using your own uniforms, work clothing and tools for work. You cannot claim relief on the initial cost of buying small tools or clothing for work. However, it is possible to claim for the cost of repairing or replacing small tools you need to provide as an employee (for example, scissors or an electric drill), or cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a uniform or safety boots). A claim for valid purchases can be made against receipts or as a 'flat rate deduction'. 

You have four years from the end of the tax year to make a claim. For example, there is a deadline of 5 April 2024 for making a claim dating back to the 2019-20 tax year. 

Source:HM Revenue & Customs| 13-08-2023

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