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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Deductions from earnings: capital allowances: particular items of machinery or plant: briefcases

Although a briefcase is likely to fall within the definition of “plant” (see EIM36530), you should generally refuse claims to capital allowances on the grounds that the case is not necessarily provided foruse in the performance of the employee’s duties (see EIM36540).

Where it forms part of the employee’s duties to transport documents or materials securely the employer will usually make some suitable receptacle available. If the employer does not consider this necessary, the duties themselves must be considered to establish whether the employee uses his or her own case simply as a matter of convenience or choice. When transporting papers between home and work the case is not being used in the performance of the duties unless the employee’s home is itself a genuine place of work (see EIM32370).