HMRC questions MPs’ accounting expenses

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The tax department has been challenging the practice of MPs claiming tax deductions for the cost of employing accountants to prepare their expense claims and tax returns, The Guardian reports.

The newspaper reignited the controversy surrounding MP’s expenses this week after obtaining correspondence between HMRC and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) under the Freedom of Information Act in which the tax department argued that the current practice of allowing claims against accounting fees of up to £5,000 a year per MP is a benefit in kind rather than an expense incurred in the course of their parliamentary work.

Although MPs receive their salary under a PAYE scheme, Ipsa maintained that the way they operated their offices was similar...

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21st Aug 2012 17:07

As Harry Enfield would say ...

"claims against accounting fees of up to £5,000 a year per MP" ?

They saw you coming !!

 

A handful of fulltime civil-service accountants/accounts clerks should be provided to do the accounts work for all the MPs

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23rd Aug 2012 13:10

benefit in kind

mikewhit wrote:

""claims against accounting fees of up to £5,000 a year per MP" ?

They saw you coming !!

 

A handful of fulltime civil-service accountants/accounts clerks should be provided to do the accounts work for all the MPs"

the problem is none of the mp's agree with each other and the whole system has become corrupt/a gravy train even more like the EU/brussells/EEC ever since mp's and the house of lords got allowances instead of salaries...

 

thats what comes with voting for your own package.

 

its time for mps and senior civil servants/oh I mean consultants/ to go back onto PAYE and earn a bit of public respect.

 

 

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22nd Aug 2012 07:22

If you are required to file a tax return

You should be able to claim the cost of professional advice in doing so. That goes for everyone. No quibble.

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22nd Aug 2012 08:38

In principle, I agree

ThornyIssues wrote:
You should be able to claim the cost of professional advice in doing so. That goes for everyone. No quibble.

However, you could imply this as being 'rent seeking' from the Accountancy profession.

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22nd Aug 2012 11:46

You have to laugh....

the 'employee' questioning the 'employer'.....of course it will be 'impartial'  (just don't mention the rather favourable expenses dispensation the revenue have for its own employees)

 

...words that come to mind when MP's mentioned...........'trough....noses....in....the'

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23rd Aug 2012 16:16

If HMRC cave in on this...

...would the average Joe have a case if he used the very same arguments?

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24th Aug 2012 14:33

Money or tax relief ?

The article did not make it clear (to the reader unfamiliar with MP expense terminology) whether the MPs were claiming extra cash from a central pot, or whether they were trying to allocate some expenditure as a permitted expense.

In the first case, the fee in question would amount to an extra payment to the MP.

In the second case, the amount in dispute would only relate to the tax on the fees.

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24th Aug 2012 17:30

MPs’ accounting expenses

Whether it is cash from a central pot or otherwise, the question is really do they get receipts for these outlandish fees? What respectable accountancy firm would charge this much for a job which could be completed by a junior in about half an hour? It looks more like the more common case where they employ their wives as secretaries on about £30,000 per annum.

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27th Aug 2012 16:36

How stupid!

An MP is not an employee (but is perhaps an office holder) in the normal sense as the constituents he/she represents do not employ him/her. Therefore any number of expenses incurred would not necessarily be incurred by a different person by reason of the MP work that they do. To my mind accountancy falls into a similar category and should be allowed purely in that part of the fee that relates to parliamentary work and formulation of relevant expense claims. 

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