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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Tax treatment of teachers, lecturers and tutors: school teachers' expenses: books

Sections 336 ITEPA 2003

A deduction may normally be permitted under Section 336 ITEPA 2003 for the full cost of books (following EIM36710) where these are necessarily purchased for use in the performance of the duties of the employment.

Necessarily in this context should be seen as satisfied only in relation to books purchased for use in teaching GCE A level and above. For courses below this level, text books and other material will usually be supplied by the school or college.

In the performance of the duties of the employment should be regarded as covering:

  • books made available to pupils for their use
  • books used by the teacher in the classroom in the course of lessons
  • books used by the teacher in the actual preparation of lessons.

The last category is the one most likely to cause difficulty since the cost of books used for the general maintenance or improvement of the teacher’s knowledge or qualifications is not deductible, following Simpson v Tate (9TC314) and Humbles v Brooks (40TC500), see EIM32435.