ATT Technical Officer The Association of Taxation Technicians
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Tax, PPE and the uniform question

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Helen Thornley probes the tax implications of providing employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) and uniforms, and any associated washing facilities. Can the employee claim tax relief for PPE costs they incur themselves?

17th Jul 2020
ATT Technical Officer The Association of Taxation Technicians
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In this brave new world of the ‘Covid-secure’ business, many employers are looking at what they should do to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus, and how they can make their staff and customers feel safe.

Essential PPE

All businesses should carry out risk assessments to establish what PPE their staff may need. Specific HMRC guidance relating to Covid-19 confirms that, where the risk assessment shows that PPE is required, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide it and there are no tax consequences for the employee.

If PPE is required but the employee purchases it instead, the employer should reimburse the employee, with no tax consequences. If this does not happen the guidance states that no tax relief is available to the employee on any unreimbursed cost of acquiring PPE. The onus falls squarely on the employer to provide and pay for any necessary PPE in line with their obligations under health and safety regulations.

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