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You may be able to reduce your tax bill by deducting capital allowances on equipment or assets that you've got to provide to do your job - for example a filing cabinet. You can only get an allowance for an item that you have to use in doing your job, but which your employer doesn't provide.
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You deduct capital allowances from your taxable income - so you pay less tax. The allowances cover items that you have to provide so that you can do your work. They're to recognise that assets or equipment lose value as a result of general wear and tear - or depreciation. Broadly speaking, anything that you have to use in your work that's likely to last for at least two years may be covered by capital allowances. There are some exceptions - cars, vans, motorcycles and cycles don't count.
You can go back several years to get the relief - the time you've got depends on whether you've previously sent in a Self Assessment tax return.
There are a number of ways that you can claim capital allowances:
You can use either first year allowances or writing down allowances - or both.
Instead of asking for capital allowances on the cost of an asset you buy, you might be able to get tax relief on the full cost. This will apply if:
The sort of things this would apply to include small tools and protective or specialist clothing.
To find out how you can get tax relief for capital allowances read our guide 'How to get allowances and reliefs - employees or directors'.
If you haven't completed a tax return you've got five years from the 31 October following the end of the year concerned to ask for tax relief. If you've previously completed a return it's five years from 31 January following the end of the year concerned.