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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Particular benefits: special security measures: what is a security asset or service?

Section 377 ITEPA 2003

A nominated Inspector should deal with all claims relating to security expenditure (see EIM21813).

A security asset or service is defined as an asset or service which improves personal security (Section 377(1)(a) ITEPA 2003).

“Asset” includes equipment and a structure such as a wall. So, items such as alarm systems, bullet resistant windows, floodlighting, reinforced doors and windows and perimeter walls and fences will qualify. The right to a deduction is not affected by the fact that the asset may become affixed to land or a dwelling.

But the following do not qualify as security assets:

  • cars, ships or aircraft
  • living accommodation
  • a dwelling
  • grounds appurtenant to a dwelling.

A security service includes such things as the provision of security guards or bodyguards.

Note that although living accommodation does not qualify as a security asset for the purposes of this legislation, this does not affect the exemption in Section 100 ITEPA 2003 if it is provided as part of special security arrangements (see EIM11331).

What is a “dwelling” is not defined. The word therefore has its normal meaning in the same way as it does elsewhere in the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act. In particular it includes a flat used as a residence, but a block of flats is not a single dwelling. This follows the practice referred to in CA2904. A flat above business premises where the taxpayer lives (as in Mason v Tyson (53TC33)) would also be a “dwelling”.

What are “grounds appurtenant to a dwelling” are also not defined. In practice Inspectors should follow CG64350 onwards, which give guidance in applying the similar concept of “garden or grounds” up to a permitted area.

The expenditure is not prevented from qualifying for a deduction by the fact that the provision of a security asset or service also improves the personal physical security of the members of the employee’s family or household.

See EIM21812 where there is part use of a security asset.