Tax refunds are great, everyone loves a Tax rebate from HM Revenue & Customs. In many situations overpayments of Tax occur without the Tax payer knowing, or even HMRC having any knowledge. Because of this, they never get paid but get swallowed up by the Tax office over time. Why does this happen? The reason […]
Temporary Workplace Relief
What is a Temporary Workplace?
A temporary workplace is a place of work where you are contracted for a short period of time, usually 24 months or less; or it could be a destination where you will be working for a temporary or specific purpose, for an example a construction project.
What Counts as a Separate Temporary Workplace?
Although there is HMRC guidance regulations of what defines a temporary workplace, it is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but the general Tax relief rules are that the place of work must be:
- Necessary for the completion of the task at hand
- Involves a duty of limited duration
- Carried out for specific or temporary purpose
Some examples of employee travelling to a temporary workplace:
- A gas engineer servicing his employers customers gas boilers at their home
- An area manager travelling between offices
- A sales consultant visiting his clients’s place of business
What is the Significance of a Temporary Workplace?
The significance is quite big, in that you are entitled to claim Tax relief on travel & subsistence costs when travelling on business that involves a temporary workplace. The HMRC temporary workplace rules set out examples of costs you might claim, including:
- Mileage costs for when using your own car
- Public transport costs
- Accommodation expenses
Contrary to what some people might think, HMRC Tax relief isn’t applied automatically. It must be claimed for by the Tax payer, or through an agent like ourselves here at Quick Rebates.
The claim itself is quite intricate and must be dealt with care as correctly identifying a temporary workplace isn’t as straight forward as it seems. The HMRC temporary workplace rules are not 100% clear and each case is reviewed independently. Not just that, but not all business related travel costs can be included in your Tax relief claim. Furthermore, calculating the travel costs can be another issue.
As the claim can go into the thousands (and regularly does), it therefore makes sense to have everything 100% correct.
What Expenses Can I Include in my Claim?
Similar to identifying whether a workplace is temporary or permanent, the HMRC rules covering travel and subsistence costs can also be quite complicated. For example, defining what is classified as normal commuting and business travel isn’t crystal clear. That being said, here is a general list of items that could be included in the Tax relief claim:
- Travel costs
- Mileage covered in your own car
- Rail cards, season tickets, other train expenditure
- Flight costs for those making a relief for working abroad
- Toll charges and parking expenses
- Subsistence expenditure
- Accommodation – for example when you are working on a project through the week that is too far away from your own home.
- Hotel, B&Bs costs are allowed
- The expenses associated with renting a property close to the temporary workforce would also be included in your claim
Can food and drink be included in the claim?
A Tax rebate claim cannot be made for incidental overnight expenses which would include food and drink. Although in some circumstances these can be paid by your employer Tax free.
Can I Make a Claim if I Use a Limited Company?
If you operate as a limited company and act as director this opens up more scope for claiming more travel costs. In these situations it can become more complex but the general Tax relief rules still apply.
Operating as a director can allow you to make more expenses whilst working at a temporary workplace, for example, you could pay yourself a daily amount free of Income Tax and National Insurance contributions which would also reduce your Corporation Tax liability as well. The net effect is that you have more disposable income to spend after the deductions of Tax and National Insurance.
Finally, there are special rules that exist should the limited company be a form of umbrella company, a recruitment agency, or personal service company (PSC) or other similar model. These should be disclosed to ourselves at the time of making your claim.
What Types of Job are Allowed by the Rules?
Quite literally all job positions, but there are some job positions that naturally incur more travelling involving a temporary workplace. Remember, ordinary commuting to your permanent place of work is not normally accepted. Some of the more types of job positions that would be included as are as follows:
- Security workers
- Construction workers
- Offshore workers
- Armed Forces personnel
- Sales related positions
This is not a exhaustive list, but simply highlights the more popular types of job where a temporary workplace is more likely to exist.
How Do I Make a Claim?
As mentioned above, the process of making a claim from start to finish can be quite complicated. From identifying whether you have had worked at a temporary workplace, to ascertaining what periods you can claim for, what journeys can be included, and finally how to calculate the total amount of the claim.
At Quick Rebates we will take all of this stress out of your hands. By taking some basic details from yourself we can get an immediate picture of your circumstances. With more calculations and some preparation, we can deal with the whole Tax repayment claim on your behalf without any hassle whatsoever.
Our team holds decades of Tax experience in this area and we communicate with HMRC on a daily basis. Get in touch today for a no obligation enquiry and see how much you could be entitled to.
All of the necessary UK Income Tax and National Insurance rates and allowances for the Income Tax year 2016/17 – fiscal year ending 5th April 2017.
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