HMRC has updated its guidance relating to the tax treatment of certain benefits and expenses paid to employees due to coronavirus, to explain how employers should proceed where they are providing coronavirus testing kits, or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to their employees.
If an employer has purchased coronavirus testing kits or tests completed by a third party to provide to their employees, then they are treated as a taxable benefit in kind on the employee.
Where employees are working in scenarios and the likelihood of the transmission of coronavirus is very high, and a risk assessment determines that PPE is required, then this must be provided to employees free of charge. The PPE must fit correctly. Providing PPE to employees is non-taxable. If an employee requires PPE to complete their job and the employer is unable to provide this, then employers must reimburse the actual expenses of employees purchasing PPE themselves. This is non-taxable and employees cannot claim tax relief on these expenses from HMRC.