Author Topic: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home  (Read 942 times)

fd3

Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« on: June 01, 2020, 11:25:19 pm »
Quote
In most cases you can claim tax relief on the full cost of substantial equipment, for example a computer, you have to buy to do your work. This is because it qualifies for a type of capital allowance called annual investment allowance.
https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/buying-other-equipment

Would suggest it's pretty cut-and-dried, but I don't trust that I will actually be able to claim my tax back.  Anyone done this successfully (as an employee, not a sole trader/ltd company)?  Specifically I am working from home (lecturing) and want to buy a low price windows tablet so that I can run lectures remotely on SMART software.
[/I could be wrong]

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2020, 11:33:40 pm »
My wife, as a carer travelling between "jobs" claimed petrol allowance, on top of what her employer was giving her. I suspect the principal, ie expenses, is the same

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2020, 11:47:56 pm »
I suggest finding a friendly accountant to ask.

Probably the employer would have to provide the equipment, if it was required for work?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 09:29:22 am »
Yes, if I recall my distant stint as as consultant, I believe you can only claim back if you're genuinely mostly self-employed and the equipment is to support that. If you are employed, then it's your employer should be buying the necessary equipment.

Expenses are different, that's a payment to cover any additional expenditure, but I don't think you should be claiming double on anything (as the employer will also be offsetting their spend in much the same way).

Accountants will know better, I got sleepy just writing this.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

fd3

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 10:23:37 am »
What about if I have a job as a teacher/lecturer and self-employ/contract out as an examiner for an exam board or as a private tutor?  Could I then claim a computer as a tutor/examiner as my lecturing employer shouldn't be liable for it?

I don't know any accountants.
[/I could be wrong]

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2020, 10:41:28 am »
Provided that you can demonstrate that specific equipment is both necessary and was purchased to support your self-employed activities, then you should be able to claim.

But generally, get an accountant, there's a bazillion of them versed in the specifics of self-employment and they can make sure you've claimed correctly and have the supporting paperwork should HMRC ask.

Whether it's worth the effort, depends on how much tax you're paying, of course.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

fd3

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2020, 11:59:27 am »
It's totally not worth it.
[/I could be wrong]

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2020, 12:07:44 pm »
Well we are doing this for GF under the why not as it is working from home, her laptop is too old and schools laptop is even older with the IT a joke.  Using coronavirus as the reason.

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2020, 12:36:50 pm »
The answer is probably no.
You can use this handy expenses checker to see for yourself, it might give an idea for something else you can claim which would help cover it.
https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2020, 12:43:07 pm »
What about if I have a job as a teacher/lecturer and self-employ/contract out as an examiner for an exam board or as a private tutor?  Could I then claim a computer as a tutor/examiner as my lecturing employer shouldn't be liable for it?

Are you on self-assessment for your contract work? If so, it's entirely up to you what you claim for on that part of your tax return.

I reckon the chances of HMRC having a problem with you claiming for a computer are pretty slim - as long as you do genuinely use it for that part of your work.

But as others have said, you can't claim for it if you only use it for your employment. It's like travel expenses in that respect - if you are an employee with a regular place of work, you can't claim for your season ticket to travel to work.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2020, 12:47:41 pm »
Yes, if I recall my distant stint as as consultant, I believe you can only claim back if you're genuinely mostly self-employed and the equipment is to support that.

Self-assessment is much simpler these days. You don't have to go through all that palaver of calculating the value of assets and factoring in depreciation, it's all done on a cash basis, and I don't think there's even a requirement to demonstrate that the equipment is used solely for that part of your work.

Things like claiming for utilities expenses when WFH have been much simplified too - it's just a flat rate allowance, no difficult sums involved.

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2020, 03:11:56 pm »
But as others have said, you can't claim for it if you only use it for your employment.

HMRC disagrees:

https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/buying-other-equipment

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2020, 04:08:55 pm »
HMRC disagrees:

Well I never!

Shows that it's worth going straight to the experts rather than asking idiots on the internet for advice on these things.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2020, 04:12:09 pm »
Honestly, I'm a bit surprised by this, it used to be case (or at least as I understood it), that employers bought the stuff you needed to do your job (and claimed their tax back). I guess things have changed. It seems to penalize people who are least able to buy equipment but must do (and get the least back, because they don't pay much tax). Actually, I'm not sure why I am surprised.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2020, 04:48:51 pm »
I'm surprised that employees can claim expenses.

I could claim on tools I have bought for work as an employee, working at the employer's place of work.

But for the flat rate claim (£100 per year) the amount you get back (£12) is so low it's not worth the effort

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2020, 05:01:10 pm »
Weird, you can't claim for buying a new tool, only for repair or replacement (as employee).
Quote
Uniforms, work clothing and tools

You may be able to claim tax relief on the cost of:

    repairing or replacing small tools you need to do your job (for example, scissors or an electric drill)
    cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a uniform or safety boots)

You cannot claim relief on the initial cost of buying small tools or clothing for work.
How much you can claim

You can either claim:

    the actual amount you’ve spent - you’ll need to keep receipts

    an agreed fixed amount (a ‘flat rate expense’ or ‘flat rate deduction’)

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2020, 05:18:51 pm »
You have always been able to claim expenses in employment. You complete box 20 on the employment pages of the tax return (so you will need to fill one out,  it it really isn’t a big chore) or the employer can complete a box on the monthly payroll RTI transmission.

The issue is whether or not the expenses is allowed for tax which requires it to be necessary. The general way these things go is that the HMRC will say if it is necessary then your employer would have purchased it so in normal times you might have a fight but these are not normal times.

There is quite a good article here ...
https://www.uhy-uk.com/resources-publications/tax-hub/tax-blog/covid-19-the-tax-implications-of-working-from-home/


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Re: Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2020, 01:45:31 am »
But as others have said, you can't claim for it if you only use it for your employment.

HMRC disagrees:

https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/buying-other-equipment
I posted that exact link four posts up and suggested it was tried, did you do so, or just read the first page? It's a series of multiple choices and using the OP's case as an example they all seem to end with a no.

Can I claim tax back for a computer to work from home
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2020, 08:07:57 am »
But as others have said, you can't claim for it if you only use it for your employment.

HMRC disagrees:

https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/buying-other-equipment
I posted that exact link four posts up and suggested it was tried, did you do so, or just read the first page? It's a series of multiple choices and using the OP's case as an example they all seem to end with a no.
I just tried it and it does rather misleadingly come up with “no you might be able to claim capital allowances”. My post #17 outlines the procedure. It is the same box on the return. It makes little difference.

Feel free to stop reading at this point. Expenses are for things which are used up straight away. Things which have a lasting value  and you could resell are capital items and not unreasonably you traditionally can only claim for how much they have dropped in value. Currently this is 18% per year on a reducing balance so your claim would be spread over several years ..... if it were not for annual investment allowance. This was brought in a few years ago to encourage business investment so you can claim 100% all in one go rather than spreading over several years. The limit was £50,000 but is now a whopping £1m. It applies to employees too. The critical thing is it must be “necessary”. There are some things specifically excluded in the case of employees, bicycles unfortunately being one of them.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk