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As a self-employed (CIS subcontractor/sole trader) or employed (PAYE/Umbrella/Agency) construction worker, you may be unsure on what you can claim for, especially as this changes depending on whether you're self-employed or employed. This guide aims to help explain things for you.

Claiming capital expenses

If you're a self-employed Construction Worker, you can claim capital expenses providing they are purchased for business use. For example, if you buy a laptop that you use exclusively for work or a car that you use only for work-related travel. Please see our guide on capital allowances for more information.

As an Employed Construction Worker, you are not able to claim capital expenses.

Claiming motor vehicle costs

As with capital expenses, Self-employed Workers can claim the tax back on things such as fuel, road tax and insurance if the vehicle you buy is used exclusively for business use. If you are using the same vehicle for both work and pleasure then you will need to make sure you only claim the costs incurred for work, and not pleasure!

Employed workers cannot claim motor vehicle costs


Mileage can be claimed as an expense if the miles are incurred when traveling to a temporary place of work (See above). As a Self-Employed worker, this means that you can claim expenses on the miles you have driven to work although it's important to keep an accurate mileage log to substantiate and differentiate this between business and personal travel if necessary, especially if your using the same car for both business and pleasure. You will be able to use our GPS Mileage tracker in future as your mileage log.

Simplified expenses can be used to calculate car, van or motorcycle expenses using a

Under the simplified expenses flat rate, cars and goods vehicles can claim a flat rate of 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles. They can claim a further 25p per mile after 10,000 miles. Motorcycles can claim 24p per mile under simplified expenses.

This will however include the entire motoring costs such as fuel, road tax and insurance.

As a PAYE worker, you are only able to claim mileage costs when traveling to a temporary place of work (see above)

Travel and subsistence expenses
(Food, drink & overnight accommodation)

As a Self-Employed worker, you can claim back travel and subsistence expenses during your time at a temporary workplace. A workplace is considered temporary if your contract is below 24 months. If your contract length is uncertain, the workplace will be classed as a temporary workplace until you have been there for 24 months, it would then be considered permanent.

As an Employed worker with one permanent place of work, you are unable to claim expenses on travel and subsistence. However, if you are required to temporarily work somewhere else (at another construction site, for example) you will be able to claim travel and subsistence expenses during your time there.

The rules here are ever changing and Highly specific on your individual circumstances, therefore we always recommend contacting us first in these case, however due to a recent rule change the majority of these “Claims” are no longer allowable expenses and they are not something we would be able to help you with.

Claiming for tools and equipment

If you are Self-Employed, you can claim expenses for any tools or equipment that you have paid for.

If you are Employed and your employer has not provided you with the same or similar item then you are able to claim for the purchase or replacement of that item as an expense, as long as you need it to do the job!

Claiming for uniform and protective clothing

If you are self-employed and you don't have to wear a specific uniform on site for example, you wear your own jeans and t-shirt then unfortunately you can't claim this is a business expenses, if however you asked to wear a specific uniform by your contractor that they haven't provided, then you may be able to claim for this. You can always claim expenses on compulsory PPE such as high viz jackets, steel-cap boots and goggles.

As an employed worker, if you are given a uniform that you must wash yourself then you will be able to claim the tax relief on this by claiming the flat rate allowance for your trade.

Admin costs

As a Self-Employed worker your 'remaining admin costs' are considered any expenses that aren't included or accounted for in any of the above categories but relate to your work. For example; phone, stationary or postage costs.

As an Employed worker you are unable to claim expenses in this category.

General business expenses

As a Self-Employed builder you can claim expenses back on things such as public liability insurance, union fees or working in a home office etc.

As an Employed worker, you can claim expenses back for trade union and subscription fees, As long as they relate to your specific job.

For any more advice or if you're still unsure just get in touch!

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