Should employer provided iPads be exempt from tax and NICs?

Accountants are calling on HMRC to look again at the tax guidance on gadgets provided by employers, after it announced that smartphones would be exempt from income tax and NICs.

Newby Castleman, a firm of chartered accountants, wants to see a similar exemption for work tablets as these gadgets become increasingly popular in the workplace.

Mike Castleman, one of the partners at the firm explained that although he welcomed the exemption on smartphones, he would like the benefit extended to include tablet computers like the iPad as they are becoming an essential workplace tool for people across all sectors.

He went on to say that although tablets were originally marketed for use at home, businesses are realising their potential and their use in the workplace is set to grow considerably.

Back in February, HMRC amended the rules on smartphones. Employers can now claim back national insurance and tax back to 2007-08 on the high-tech phones, after the Revenue decided they were in fact phones and not Personal Digital Assistants.

The change Mr Castleman is asking for may be some time in coming. A spokesperson for the Revenue said the department is not planning to make any further alterations to the employers’ guidance rules in the near future.

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