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Training Costs

Does ACCA's tuition and exam fees an allowable deduction for corp. tax purposes in a company providing accounting and bookkeeping services.

While it is difficult to argue the wholly & exclusively rule but the primary purpose of the training and qualification is to obtain more clients and hence should be allowable as I understand.

I want to know if any of you experienced this before either personally or when dealing with any client's affairs.




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23rd Aug 2011 15:38

Why is it difficult to argue wholly & exclusively?  It's part of the employee's remuneration package if the company pays for exams & training.  A better question is whether it is a benefit in kind on the employee.  However, it's not a benefit in kind either as both the training and exam fees should be covered by an exemption for this purpose.

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By Old Greying Accountant
23rd Aug 2011 16:09

Need more information ...

... are we talking about you as owner/manager studying for ACCA, or for staff you employ?

HMRC are in my experience quite aggressive on this. They will see it as an intangible assets rather than revenue expense if it is the owner/manager receiving the training and argue accordingly. I am not saying you won't win, but you may have a bloody battle.

This is an extract from a letter I have received on the subject:

Training Courses

Attendance at a course that is intended to give new expertise brings into existence an intangible asset that is of enduring benefit to the business. It is therefore considered that this expenditure is of a capital nature and a deduction is thus prohibited by Section 74(f) ICTA 1988.

See here too 



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28th Aug 2011 22:51

Thank you Old Greying Acc

I am an owner/sole proprietor and part-qualified ACCA taking the final papers of ACCA.  While it is evident that it is not a new skill that am acquiring but an update of the existing skill and to some extent required for the performance of my duty as an accountant.  Many thanks for providing the HMRC's  BIM link which is informative but again not clear in terms of practice.

I'll keep all the paperwork and be ready to argue this with HMRC.


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