In 2022/23, HMRC sent a nudge letter to taxpayers that included a statement saying that upgrading a boiler wouldn’t be a deductible expense for tax purposes, i.e. as a deduction from rental income. It is now writing to individuals admitting that this was wrong. What action do you need to take?

The initial letter was a prompt to check property letting expenses that had been claimed on the 2021/22 tax return. It contained the statement that “upgrading a central heating boiler from an older, less efficient model’ is an example of an expense you can’t claim tax relief for”. Essentially, the implication is that an improvement is not a repair, and so is a capital expense. HMRC has now owned up to the mistake, and has confirmed that such an expense would generally be accepted as a repair.

If you haven’t claimed for the cost of a replacement boiler, you could be owed a tax refund. Check your returns and if you have underclaimed your expenses, take action accordingly. If it is for 2022/23, you can simply amend the return. However, if it’s your 2021/22 return that is affected, you should contact the specialist team by email at

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