Muras Matters: Tax Relief for Employment Expenses

Tax Relief for Employment Expenses


Some unusual employment related tax exemptions have been in the news recently, therefore today we cover the rules generally together with some specific examples of tax deductible employment expenses.

Employees are subject to more restrictive rules than the self-employed, however if tax relief is due then a refund could be claimed from HM Revenue & Customs through a Self Assessment Tax Return, or a form P87. Current year claims can be dealt with through an adjustment to a PAYE code.

The General Rule

A deduction is due if:

  1. An employee is obliged to incur and pay an expense as holder of the employment and
  2. The amount is incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of employment.

These conditions are strictly applied although the circumstances of each case can be different, so that an expense may be deductible for one individual but not to another.

Examples of tax deductible items may include:

  1. specialist clothing, such as protective boots, high visibility jackets, work uniforms etc.
  2. professional books and journals
  3. expenses from using the home as an office

Flat Rate Expenses

In order to simplify claims the Revenue have a list of industry specific expenses which they will accept, up to a certain level, without the need to keep receipts. This list can be found here:

Other Expenses

Other deductible employment expenses can include professional subscriptions and business related travel. The Revenue maintain a list of professional organisations where they accept that tax relief is due on professional subscriptions. If you are not claiming tax relief for business related travel and you believe that you may qualify then please do contact us.

In addition, certain employments can provide unusual reliefs. For example, certain NHS workers who undertook Widening Access Training since 1999 should have received their wages tax free, if certain conditions were met. These particular individuals can claim refunds of overpaid tax back to the start of this particular training scheme, rather than be limited to the usual time limit of 4 years from the end of the tax year.

For details of how to claim tax relief or if you would like more information in connection with this please contact our Tax Director, Jenny Marks.

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