Just a reminder that, as workers within the UK’s construction industry, you should ensure that you are making full utilisation of HMRC’s flat-rate expenses scheme. Don’t miss out on your full available tax relief. Tax preparation specialist David Redfern, Managing Director of DSR Tax Claims Ltd, issued this as a reminder to construction workers on the run up to year end.

According to the tax experts at DSR Tax Claims Ltd, most can use flat-rate expenses as an easier way of claiming tax relief on work-related expenses without the hassle of having to keep receipts or detailed financial records. HMRC sets a “flat rate” of expense that can be claimed, rather than employees claiming the actual cost of work expenses.

Flat Rate Expenses For Construction Workers

These expenses can comprise such items as tools, protective and safety gear and cost of professional subscriptions. Redfern is urging all construction workers to ensure that you are fully utilising your employee tax relief, stating that “It might surprise many construction workers to discover just how quickly their work expenses can add up – whether they relate to their work uniform or the cost of obtaining and maintaining their CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card”. He added that “Not everyone can be bothered with the fuss of claiming for each and every receipt they get and that is where HMRC’s flat-rate expense scheme comes in – by fully utilising this tax relief scheme, construction workers can make sure that they are still claiming their available tax relief without the need to keep time-consuming in-depth financial records. In the run up to Christmas, every penny counts and all you need to do is fill in a simple HMRC form”.

Redfern reminded construction workers that flat-rate expenses are only applicable to construction workers who work for an employer and pay tax via the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system. Construction contractors who are part of the CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) are required to use the Simplified Expenses scheme in conjunction with their Self Assessment tax return instead. He commented that “Although CIS workers can’t use flat-rate expenses as they are for employees only, contractors can still make easy work of their expenses by using HMRC’s simplified expenses scheme. Although you can’t claim the actual cost of your expenses, simplified expenses can help you to make full use of the tax relief options open to you”.

Redfern finished with a word of warning to those tempted to abuse the tax relief schemes, stating that “HMRC take tax compliance very seriously and although flat-rate and simplified expenses are an easy way to claim tax relief, HMRC’s system of fines and penalties will soon outweigh the benefit where tax evasion is discovered”.