Tax relief on fees paid to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)


21 / 8 / 2013 10.34am

New legislation, which came into force on 10 June 2013, provides relief from income tax, where employers pay or reimburse fees for subscribing to the DBS Update Service, or fees for DBS disclosure certificates when applicants subscribe to the Update Service.

The Update Service allows individuals to keep their DBS certificates up to date and lets employers, or prospective employers, carry out free online checks to see if any new information has come to light since the certificate was issued.

There is an annual subscription fee of £13 to join the Update Service. However, for volunteers subscription continues to be free. Where employers pay for or reimburse the cost of the fee, there would normally be a taxable benefit-in-kind for the employee, the new legislation has removed that charge.

It is estimated that there will be approximately 11.4 million subscriptions to the DBS Update Service over the first 5 years. The Home Office estimates that currently around 80% of DBS checks relate to public sector employees, most of whom will either have the fee paid or reimbursed by their employer. 

Further information

If you would like further information you can access the HM Revenue & Customs Tax Information and Impact Note or  email

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