Temporary changes to the rules for reimbursing employees for the purchase of office equipment whilst working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic were introduced in March 2020.
The temporary measure means that employer reimbursements for the cost of home-office equipment expenses to help employees work from home will be exempt from tax and NICs.
Home office equipment is the equipment deemed necessary for the employee to work from home as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and can, for example, include a laptop, a desk or necessary computer accessories.
The exemption was due to end on 5 April 2021 but will be extended to have effect until 5 April 2022.
The expenditure must meet the following two conditions to be eligible for relief:
- That equipment is obtained for the sole purpose of enabling the employee to work from home as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and
- The provision of the equipment would have been exempt from Income Tax if it had been provided directly to the employee by or on behalf of the employer (under section 316 of ITEPA).
The exemption remains a temporary measure and will have effect until the end of the 2021-22 tax year.