HMRC have confirmed that where an employer reimburses an employee for the cost of a Coronavirus test, that reimbursement will be exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance.

This latest measure will apply where employees purchase their own Coronavirus swab tests and are reimbursed by their employer. 

  • For this purpose, a Coronavirus swab test means a test which detects the presence of a viral antigen or viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) specific to severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
  • HMRC have indicated that the Coronavirus test must be accessed for business reasons, for example where an employee needs a negative test result in order to travel abroad for business.

This follows HMRC’s announcement in July 2020 that employer-provided Coronavirus testing kits would not give rise to a taxable Benefit In Kind.

A disregard will apply between 25 January 2020 and 5 April 2020 with HMRC exercising its collection and management powers to not collect Income Tax or National Insurance from 6 April 2020.

Useful guides on this topic

COVID-19: Government support tracker
This tracker covers measures announced by the government to support individuals and businesses, as we get through COVID-19.

COVID-19: Employer support tracker
An index to our Employer support pages covering support and relaxations available to employers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Tax-free benefits and perks
What are the key tax-free benefits or 'perks' can be used to incentivise your staff?

External link

Policy Paper: Income Tax and National Insurance contributions exemption for employer-reimbursed coronavirus antigen tests