Is your PA due any tax relief on their job expenses?

HMRC are prompting workers to claim tax relief where due. As tax relief can make a real difference to employees, we summarise the situation here, so that you can make your PA aware of this if you want to.

Where you pay or reimburse expenses that are wholly, exclusively and necessarily to do with an employee’s employment, no tax or National Insurance is due and no reporting is required – meaning there is nothing further for your or the employee to do.

But if they spend their own money on things to do their job, which you do not pay for or reimburse, then they can claim tax relief on this. This can make a real difference to employees, so HMRC is keen to make sure that people get all the relief they’re entitled to.

Tax relief isn’t available for all employment expenses, but common allowable expenses include:

  • cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a branded uniform or safety boots) – in particular, they may be able to claim a flat rate ‘allowance’ per year for the cost of washing their uniform or specialist clothing at home;
  • business mileage (but not for the cost of ordinary commuting, i.e. getting from home to work and back);
  • business telephone calls;
  • professional fees and subscriptions


There is currently a new Check If You Can Claim tool on GOV.UK  which you could direct your PA to, which can help them work out whether or not they are eligible to claim. If they are eligible to claim, they can generally do so themselves for free, via an online form or by posting HMRC a form P87.

More detail can be found in LITRG’s news piece: Employees – what to do if you incur expenses in relation to your job.

(23-12-2018)