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Tax relief

As part of my new job I have been given a laptop, and the school pays for private medical insurance. I've been told I have to declare these to the taxman as benefits in kind. Is this correct?

This is complicated. The health insurance is a taxable benefit and your employer will have told the taxman that you are receiving it. You have to inform them too. If you only use the laptop at school for work, then it is not any different to any school computer. If you take it home and use it for anything other than school work, it is a benefit in kind. Ask your professional association whether there are extra statutory concessions from the taxman that cover this. Check insurance - if you take it home and it was lost or stolen, you might have to replace it.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email jill.parkin@tes.co.uk

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