Post Covid-19 – PPE, Uniform and Tax

By July 24, 2020No Comments

With everything that is happening in the world now, things have changed to the way we knew it. Covid-19 has shaken the world into new heights and bought new things to light. We wanted to share a little on what’s classes as PPE and Uniform and what we can claim as a taxable relief as it seems to be a hot topic at the moment.

What is PPE?

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – All businesses should do an evaluation and risk assessment to see what PPE their employees might need or what might keep them feeling safe/comfortable in the workplace, with things finally starting to go back to normal some people may still not feel safe and as an employer it’s our job to give them that security but also using common sense in the approach.
Once a risk assessment is done and there is a need for PPE, it’s then the employer’s responsibility to provide what’s needed with no tax implications to the employee.
What if the employee buys it and ask their employer to reimburse them? – The employer can reimburse the employee with again no tax implications. If the employee however elects to buy things themselves and the employer deems it to be outlandish or out of a normal budget the employee can not claim any tax relief on this.
Essentially the responsibility is on the employer to provide it’s employee with PPE if it is required.
HMRC guidance states – where an employee bears the cost of “genuinely protective clothing” which is “worn as a matter of physical necessity” they can claim tax relief for the cost.

What is Uniform?

A question we get asked very often, Uniform can only be classed as uniform if it is actually uniform e.g. something with the company logo, protective clothing such as a hard hat or steel toe cap boots, …. Yes, that means jeans or a suit don’t count!
The question you must ask yourself, is this normal clothing or uniform? – normal clothing is not a claimable expense as it assumed you would have to wear clothes work or not.
To be classed as uniform, it must recognisably be a uniform and the employee must be required to wear it.
Now, from the employer’s point of view there must be a process where what’s required to be worn to work (if not uniform) like black trousers etc… does not make the employee fall below national minimum wage.
Can I claim tax relief for the cleaning of my clothes? – If there is a facility available by the employers to wash the clothes it’s fine, if not however the employee is allowed to claim tax relief for any cost’s incurred.

What’s the tax implications on PPE/Uniform?

  • So, in short – You can claim tax relief on PPE so long as it is required and to an agreeable limit
  • Uniform has a very fine line as to what is and isn’t uniform (as a claimable expense), effectively protective clothing that’s a requirement and any clothing with company logo’s etc that clearly shows it’s uniform.
  • With Covid-19 there will be measures to take for all employers and there may be requirements to provide certain PPE to employee with no tax implications.

If you have any questions on the above or anything else please don’t hesitate to contact us, remember we also have a specific Covid-19 response team set up too!

Stay Safe and Stay Healthy!

Team Adroit