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Travel Subsistence

From April 2016 new rules have been introduced relating to the ability of self employed and subcontractors to obtain tax relief for travel and subsistence expenditure. The Autumn Statement referred to the new rules applying to subcontractors who were under the ‘Supervision, Direction and Control’ of their ultimate clients. The problem with this approach was that the terms ‘Supervision’, Direction’ and ‘Control’ were not defined. To a degree all subcontractors are supervised, but probably only a minority of them would be supervised to the same extent as employees. In the aftermath of the Autumn Statement, the government implied that the new rules would only be applicable to companies caught by IR35 rules or who operated via umbrella companies. HM Revenue and Customs have recently issued guidance which, if followed, would prevent the majority of subcontractors and personal service companies from being able to obtain tax relief on travel and subsistence costs. The HM Revenue and Customs guidance does not have the force of law and it may well not be in accordance with the legislation. This is an area which will continue to develop over the coming months as cases go before tax tribunals.

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