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EXEMPTION FOR BENEFITS FOR DISABLED EMPLOYEES

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Disabled people will no longer pay tax on the private use of ...
Disabled people will no longer pay tax on the private use of

equipment or facilities provided to enable them to carry out their

job under regulations laid in parliament yesterday.

Announcing the measure, Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo said:

'The government is continuing to remove barriers to work and ensure

that disabled people do not face discrimination in the workplace. The

regulations laid today ensure that benefits for disabled employees

which may be used both in and out of the workplace such as a

wheelchair or hearing aid, will not be liable to a tax charge.'

DETAILS

1. The provision of equipment, services or facilities which are used

solely to carry out the duties of an employment, or where the private

use is not significant, is exempt from tax. But where the private use

is significant a tax charge can arise on the employee.

2. For disabled workers there are legislative arrangements, notably

under Access to Work Programme and the Disability Discrimination Act

1995 (DDA), which provide special equipment and services to enable

them to take up or stay in work. In most cases this will consist of

equipment or facilities on the work premises used solely to carry out

the job and no tax charge will arise. But in certain circumstances,

for example where a hearing aid or wheelchair is provided, the

employee may use the equipment full time, so that the private use is

significant and an employee benefits tax charge could arise.

3. Section 155ZB of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act allows

regulations to be made to exempt certain employee benefits. The

regulations laid today will ensure that no tax charge will arise on

disabled people from the provision of equipment in such

circumstances.

4. The regulations come into force on 9 July 2002.

NOTES

1. The Access to Work Programme, run by the government employment

agencies, provides practical advice and support to disabled people

and their employers to help overcome work-related obstacles resulting

from disability. This assistance can be in various forms, including

finance for special work equipment or adaptations to work premises to

enable disabled people to carry out their job. A proportion of the

cost may be met by the employer. There are also requirements under

the DDA for employers and others to make `reasonable adjustments` to

ensure that disabled people are not discriminated against in regard

to accessing and using work or other premises.

2. In most cases no taxable benefit arises from use of such work

equipment or services. In a few cases, however, there may be

significant private use as well and the possibility of a tax charge;

these regulations will remove that charge.

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