Contractors' Questions: Can I claim a laptop on expenses?

Contractor’s Question:  As a newcomer to working through an umbrella company, will I be able to recoup some, or all, of the cost of laptop which I need to purchase for my next role?

Expert’s Answer: Whether or not you can claim for a laptop is a question that regularly crops up, and the short answer is yes you can.

A laptop falls into the Sundry Office Expenses category for equipment that is essential to your role. There is no limit to the amount you can claim, although you must complete the sundry letter detailing how your purchase supports your role. Your umbrella company will also need you to send them the original receipt.

If you are claiming for the full cost of a laptop you will also need to provide your umbrella company with a security deposit equivalent to 10% of the purchase price (which will typically be deducted from your net pay following your authorisation), and legally the laptop becomes the property of the umbrella. You do normally have the option to purchase the laptop after a qualifying period though, and you are typically charged a second-hand value for the laptop which will be equal to 10% of the original purchase price.

The expert was Rob Crossland, founder of Parasol, an employment and umbrella company.

Thursday 8th March 2012