Employer-provided COVID19 antigen tests: Exemption from Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions:Written statement - HCWS352

WS
Treasury
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Jesse Norman (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Employer-provided COVID19 antigen tests: Exemption from Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions

The Government is introducing an income tax exemption and National Insurance (NICs) disregard to ensure that Coronavirus antigen testing provided to employees outside the Government’s national testing scheme will not attract tax and NICs liabilities.

The Government recognises the importance of Covid-19 testing. Currently, regular tests are available through the Government testing programme to a wide range of employees, including NHS workers. If an individual is tested through the Government testing programme, no tax liability will arise.

Under normal rules, the provision of a test by an employer to an employee, either directly or by purchasing tests that are carried out by a third party, would constitute a benefit in kind, and the cost of providing the test would be subject to income tax and Class 1A NICs as a result. However, the Government will introduce an exemption to ensure that no tax liabilities arise.

This exemption will ensure that Income Tax and NICs will not be due on employer-provided antigen tests carried out during the current tax year 2020-21.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS346

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