First aid is one of the most important requirements stipulated in the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations of 1981.
According to the Health and Safety Executive of the UK, an employer must ensure that the workplace is equipped with first-aid kits and has an appointed person for first-aid.
With this said, it’s also necessary that the designated first aid person has undergone first aid training courses. This ensures they have the knowledge and skills to respond to first-aid situations.
If you’re one of these employees or just wish to avail of such courses, you might also be wondering if it’s tax-deductible.
That’s what we’re going to answer in this article. So, keep reading and learn how to claim deductions when attending a first aid training course.
Is First Aid Course Tax Deductible?
A tax deduction is an expense that can be deducted from your gross income. Conversely, this also reduces the overall tax you must endow.
Different items can be considered tax deductibles. But the big question is: Are first aid courses also covered?
To briefly answer your question, yes, a course in first aid is tax deductible. However, you must comply with certain requirements before qualifying for such a privilege.
Tax relief is only qualified for ALLOWABLE business expenses. This also applies to things that are directly related to your employment, as well as expenses that your employer expects you to pay.
In this sense, first aid training is only tax deductible when:
- The company requires all employees to undertake first-aid training – this means that the company requires a first-aid certification for employees to perform their job, but the courses or expenses are not shouldered by them. An example of this is when you’re working in a hospital (or other medical institutions).
- You are the designated first aid person in the workplace – the first aider in the workplace can also claim tax relief, given that their role requires first aid training. Since you are in charge of taking care of people’s safety and assisting in emergency work situations (injury, allergic reactions, and bleeding, for example), such training is essential for your role.
You can also claim tax relief even if you don’t belong to such categories. However, it would be challenging for you to make such claims.
Depending on the circumstances, you may still claim a deduction for taking training courses in first aid. One example is when the department STRONGLY RECOMMENDS you take such a course.
This also applies when you need the training to take up your professional development hours.
Generally, you can claim tax relief over first aid training costs if it can improve your skills and help with your employment.
What if You’re Self-Employed?
You can still claim a deduction if the first aid courses you’re going to take can help improve your performance and the overall growth of your business.
According to tax legislation for personal deductions in the UK, self-employed individuals can claim a deduction as long as it’s solely for the purposes of trade.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will check the existing trade. They will see to it that the training courses are meant to update your knowledge and professional expertise and if it’s work-related or made for business purposes.
Can You Claim First Aid Course on Tax?
With all these said, we can conclude that you can claim your first aid course on tax as long as you’re able to SATISFY the criteria:
- Training costs can be claimed for tax purposes if the first aid training is related to the business, employment, or if it’s strongly recommended by the workplace.
- Refresher courses are also covered as tax deductibles, given that it aims to update employees’ work performance.
- Training that improves an employee’s soft skills, like stress management, time management, and leadership seminars, are also covered.
How you can make claims highly depends on your status (self-employed, sole trader, or limited company).
If you’re self-employed, you must report any expense when filing a self-assessment tax return. For businesses, on the other hand, allowable expenditure is deducted from taxable business profit.
When Can You Claim First Aid Training Courses As a Tax Deduction?
As previously mentioned, only certain things are covered when claiming a tax deduction for training.
Allowable expenditure includes:
- Public transport
- Parking fees
- Hotel accommodation expenses (if the training requires you to stay overnight)
- Subsistence (food and drink)
- Business telephone calls
- Printing costs
NOTE: Hotel accommodation and subsistence can only be claimed if you’re required to stay overnight. On the other hand, travel expenses can’t be claimed if the training is held at your usual workplace.
When CAN’T You Claim Tax Relief for First Aid?
Even if first aid courses can benefit the workplace, there are still limitations on when you CAN’T claim a tax deduction for first aid.
Three major reasons are:
- The training is NOT related to your job description – this means that the course won’t help you do your role in the company. It’s not part of your responsibilities, and it’s not necessary for you to take such courses.
- The training is NOT required for you to do your job – you may claim it can be used in performing your role. However, it’s loosely related or not highly recommended by your department.
- The training gives you higher chances of finding a new job than improving your skills in your current position – you are not allowed to if you don’t hold the position yet or you’re only aiming to get a promotion.
What Expenses Are Not Deductible for Tax Purposes?
There are also things that you can’t claim for tax purposes. According to the UK Government, you are NOT ALLOWED to claim a tax deduction if:
- The training aims to help you start a new business.
- The training helps your business expand by venturing into new areas.
Other expenses that are not allowed for such purposes are:
- Medical cost
- Social security contributions
- Council tax
- Cost of insurance premiums
- Fines and penalties (except for those incurred while doing activities for business purposes)
- Other UK taxes
First aid training is a relevant course that can help save lives.
First aiders are allowed to assist in circumstances that require their expertise and contact with casualties that have an injury, bleeding, and the like.
It’s also relevant in the workplace, given that it’s part of the regulations stipulated by the HSE for employers.
But if you’re wondering if the training cost can be deducted from your taxes, it’s important to check with tax regulations on which ones are covered and not.
Such courses are only covered if they’re:
- Relevant to the job
- Needed to perform one’s role
- Strongly recommended by the company or department
You must also understand that only certain things are covered for tax deductions. Conditions should be met BEFORE these expenses are deducted from your taxes.
Claiming tax deductions may not be as straightforward as you think. Fortunately, you can always contact an HMRC adviser or an accountant for such needs.