How to claim tax relief on employment expenses
27/05/2021

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 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 fill one in.
  • By using HMRC’s online service or by printing and posting form P87 if you do not already fill in 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 will need to register if necessary.

There are different rules if you are an employee using your own uniforms, work clothing and tools for work. You cannot make 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 do your job (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. This means that there is a deadline of 5 April 2022 for making a claim dating back to the 2017-18 tax year. 


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