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What allowable expenditure would apply to self employed truck driver?

The self employed trucker driver does not own the company, just drives for a company in their trucks using their fuel.

What allowable expenses could the self employed driver claim other than phone costs, mileage to get to the truck?


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Safety wear?

Uniform / safety wear costs? Maps? Sat nav?

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S.57A ITTOIA refers.

I'm not sure that mileage to get his lorry is allowable.  He's not a self-employed lorry driver when he's in his car.

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There are allowances detailed in RHA manuals including agreed overnight payments.

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Self employed? Really?

How can he be a self-employed lorry driver if he is not using his own lorry? I imagine that in reality he is employed by the lorry owner in which case the normal "wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of his duties" rule applies so probably no expenses allowable!

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@John R: The mere fact that a driver uses the engager's lorry doesn't confer an employed status.  The leading employed v self-employed case is Ready Mixed Concrete v DWP, which concerned the driver of one of RMC's concrete delivery vehicles.  His self-employed status was upheld by the courts.  The Court of Appeal also upheld a self-employed status for a newspaper delivery van driver in Express & Echo v Tanton.  In that case, not only was the driver provided with the van, he was also provided with a uniform he had to wear.

@Tosie:  I thought the RHA agreed allowances only represented an amount that an employer could pay to an employed driver without PAYE/NIC being chargeable?  I didn't thonk they could be claimed as such by either an employed driver, or, as here, one that is self-employed?

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RMC owner/driver

Steve - the RMC case concerned an owner/driver so this is a major difference to the circumstances of the current question. The Express and Echo case included a strong substitution arrangement that was not only in the contract but was also invoked in practice.

I accept that if the questioner's client has a robust contract for services, a lack of significant control, actual substitution on occasions, then there may well be grounds for arguing self-employment status. However, in my experience, such arrangements involving drivers usually only exist where advice has been given in advance. Most, if not all, the cases that I have come across over the years concerning non-owning truck drivers, excavator drivers, waged taxi drivers etc., would not have passed the necessary tests for self-employment.


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I am confused by John R

A considerable  % of the trucks on our roads are driven by self employed drivers who don't own the trucks. The main haulage companies use agencies to provide  drivers who are self employed or operating through their own one man ltd. companies.This is the first time that I have seen it challenged.

Agree Steve I just meant it as a pointer.

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Thank you everyone.

Can he claim anything for his meals whilst at work? I read somewhere that a claim of £2 per day could be made. Is that correct?

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Tosie's confusion

Tosie - I am afraid you are simply incorrect in assuming that "A considerable  % of the trucks on our roads are driven by self employed drivers who don't own the trucks". They may be agency drivers in which case they will be employed by the agency or they may be employed by their own one-man Ltd company. That does not make them self-employed drivers.

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too narrow a view

If JR is correct, it would mean that a self employed writer using someone else's pen is an employee of the pen owner. 

At best, JR is advocating a very narrow view of self employment. At worst I sometimes wonder if HMRC has a team of people paid to post misleading information on posts such as Accountingweb to boost tax revenue . 

After all, the big corporations employ blog companies to post false glowing product reviews, so why wouldn't HMRC do the same thing for tax ? 


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Not a narrow view

I am not from HMRC!!

I am merely giving my opinion on the non-owner truck driver situation portrayed by the questioner. For all I know, the driver may have an arrangement that is similar to that within the Express and Echo v Tanton case. The official HMRC view is in their Employment Status Manual (4210-4212) so you can see that any attempt to treat a driver as self-employed is likely to be resisted by HMRC. That does not mean that the OP should roll over and accept their view but that she must be alert to the fact that there could be a problem here and that she should do her best to advise her client how to protect himself from a Revenue attack, (substitution being the key). In my personal view, this is likely to be difficult.

Mike - If you think I am wrong then why don't all haulage firms use self-employed drivers as this would be much less expensive? Just Google "self-employed driver" and you will have difficulty finding a vacancy (from a reputable firm) for a self-employed driver where the driver does not have to supply his own vehicle. Ask yourself why this might be?

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It's not the drivers problem
It's the employers problem. Have just heard of an enquiry last week where HMRC reclassified several as PAYE going back 6 years - and you have the 'negligence' personal liability aspect of PAYE/NIC under the Social Security & Administration Act. The big firms have schemes in place where they effectively rent the vehicles to the drivers.

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