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Overnight expenses

On 05/02/01 I asked a question about a new client that often travels large distances to do his job and sleeps in his vehicle 4-6 times a month. In previous accounts there are large sums for travel & subsistence, which I queried with the client as there was no expenditure records. I received the reply that he "booked nights out like a lorry driver and slept in the cab". He has records to establish when he was away overnight.

My query was, is there an accepted amount that could be claimed in a Sch D case.

The relevant ref seems to be Tax Bulletin 8 that clarified the position with regard to long distance self-employed lorry drivers, and then went on to state "We have been asked whether this treament can be extended to such drivers who spend the night in their cabs rather than take overnight accommodation. We have confirmed that it can."

It then goes on to state: "It should be emphasised that it is only 'reasonable' expenses which may be allowed and the expenses claimed must be supported by adequate contemporaneous records"

The Inspector's Manual is no clearer on the issue as it merely reiterates the Tax Bulletin.

This raises the following questions:

1. what constitutes reasonable.
2. what is meant by contemporaneous - is this receipts for actual expenditure or evidence that the person was away that night.

So is it possible to just claim for a reasonable amount (irrespective of what is actually paid, as they may have taken a supply of sandwiches) or is actual expenditure necessary and then the test of reasonableness applied (ie: greasy spoon - reasonable, Savoy Grill - unreasonable)
Neville Ford

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By neileg
28th Feb 2001 09:53

Sorry, Neville
I think the position of the revenue to records in general applies here. Clearly independent evidence of expenditure is preferrable, but clear and consitent records of any type are what is required.

If the driver's cash diary appears to give a sensible and reasonable picture, then every entry would not need to be evidenced.

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27th Feb 2001 18:40

Overnight expenses
The question about what "contemporaneous records" meant was:

Does it mean a dated receipt or a diary note ?

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By neileg
27th Feb 2001 09:16

Contemporaneous
Don't know about the rest, but contemporaneous means that the records were made at or around the time the expenditure was incurred. Eg, a till receipt bearing the date, or an entry in a cash diary made the next day.

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