In 2023, HMRC issued a letter stating that boiler upgrades did not constitute a repair. However, HMRC is now contacting affected taxpayers acknowledging that this advice was incorrect.

HMRC is set to issue a correction letter to wealthy taxpayers and their agents who received a letter from HMRC about property income and repairs in 2023. The original letter prompted taxpayers to check the property pages of their self assessment return for the tax year ended 5 April 2022.

In the original letter, HMRC told customers that expenditure incurred on “‘upgrading a central heating boiler from an older, less efficient model” did not qualify for tax relief in calculating the profits or losses of the property business. 

However, HMRC now acknowledges that it made a mistake. In the correction letter, HMRC accepts that an upgrade of this nature is an allowable expense where it is due to an advance in technology and the new item does broadly the same job as the old one. 

A taxpayer who amended their self assessment tax return in response to HMRC’s original letter, and who now needs to claim tax relief for a boiler expense, should email HMRC using the address given in the correction letter. 

For further reading, see ICAEW’s guidance on property tax. 


ICAEW’s Tax Faculty is recognised internationally as a leading authority and source of expertise on taxation. The faculty is the voice of tax for ICAEW, responsible for all submissions to the tax authorities. Join the Faculty for expert guidance and support enabling you to provide the best advice on tax to your clients or business.


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