Employment Tax

Fixed deductions for expenses

Produced by Tolley
  • 12 May 2022 14:01

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Fixed deductions for expenses
  • Introduction
  • Fixed rate deductions
  • Fixed versus actual expense
  • Local agreements
  • Employer involvement in reporting employee entitlement

Fixed deductions for expenses


In certain circumstances, HMRC can agree an appropriate fixed rate amount (also called a flat rate expense) which can be deducted from earnings for tax purposes. These typically refer to certain classes of employees who are required to incur expenditure on things such as tools and clothing.

For example, firefighters are entitled to a flat-rate allowance on the costs of cleaning and maintaining their uniforms where laundry services are not provided by their employers.

These amounts should not be confused with round sum allowances which are discussed in the Round sum allowances guidance note which are generally treated as taxable income for the employee.

Fixed deductions do not include the approved mileage rate for business travel using the employee’s own car. This is treated as business travel, see the Fuel-related payments / mileage payments guidance note.

Fixed rate deductions

HMRC can agree fixed sum deductions that are negotiated with trade unions to apply to certain classes of employees. These are rates that employers may pay free of PAYE and reporting requirements, or that an employee may claim as a deduction where the expense is not reimbursed by the employer. These fixed rates are generally agreed in instances where it is burdensome for an employer or employee to administer expenses and the associated record keeping, eg where they have particularly large numbers of small payments.

The fixed rate deduction covers the repair and replacement of clothes and equipment of certain classes of employees in certain types of industries. The full list of

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