Share this content

BIK on home-work transport of stock?

Heavy stock transported between home and work by staff working part time at home

Didn't find your answer?

We have a situation where staff who have previously worked 100% of the time at the main business premises (a retail unit) are now working from home part time.

Staff work on antiques, and found that working from home part time has been very useful as a large part of the job is research and stocking in, something easier to do in a quiet environment away from the shop.

The problem comes with transporting the stock between their homes and the shop. The antiques are heavy, and fragile. Staff wish to claim for an occasional cab, or in one case, congestion charge costs and parking. I understand that home-business travel is usually considered private travel and hence the congestion charge cost and cabs would be a taxable expense.

We do have one staff member who is disabled, so I understand there may be an exemption there?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Have I missed anything in thinking that these costs will lead to a benefit in kind? Any help greatly appreciated here.

Replies (10)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By accountaholic
17th Jun 2021 13:25

I would treat that as the same thing as haulage or transport, say in taking the antique to a third party repairer, and therefore fully allowable. I can't back that up with referece to statute or HMRC manuals but I would claim it and argue the point if needed.

Taking the opportunity to answer a question with a question though, in this new world of home working, if an employee is employed on a contract specifying work to be done from home, but the employee is then asked to go to the office for a team meeting or something, is that travel from home to office allowable?

Thanks (1)
Replying to accountaholic:
avatar
By Hugo Fair
17th Jun 2021 14:04

There are an awful lot of 'subject to', 'in the following circumstances' and other caveats to wrap around my answer to your Q (2nd para) ... but Yes (if the contract specifies home to be the only, not main, place of work - which, by definition, is incompatible with regular office-based team meetings)!

BTW I agree with your response to OP - subject to the similar caveat that any such transportation visits don't coincide with staying on to do some other work in the shop.
However I can see HMRC arguing that the presence of the employee was not a necessary part of the furniture transportation journey (and what about the return journey presumably unladen with furniture)?

Thanks (2)
avatar
By David Ex
17th Jun 2021 15:05

Lots of off topic issues occur! From insurance for off site stock to council tax if a home becomes a de facto storage facility. Fire safety concerns storing lots of old tinder dry varnished wooden items? Neighbours getting brassed off with delivery vans outside regularly?

Thanks (1)
Replying to David Ex:
avatar
By paul.benny
17th Jun 2021 15:34

And insurance of employees' vehicles (probably not class 1 use), risk of loss or damage to goods while in employees' homes, heightened burglary risk.
And health and safety (lifting and handling, safety of employees' family/housemates.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By paul.benny
17th Jun 2021 15:36

Actually, having thought for another 30 seconds. Don't do it at all. But if you must move the goods, get a competent third party to move them - outsources substantially all of the compliance risks of transport

Thanks (1)
Replying to paul.benny:
avatar
By Hugo Fair
17th Jun 2021 16:29

Agree ... that's what I was trying to hint at when I said (above) "I can see HMRC arguing that the presence of the employee was not a necessary part of the furniture transportation journey (and what about the return journey presumably unladen with furniture)?"

But, tongue-in-cheek, I guess employer could use an Uber to collect furniture from employee's home ... and employee could 'happen' to stay in the car for the journey (and eventually make their way home at their own cost)?

Thanks (1)
Replying to paul.benny:
avatar
By David Ex
17th Jun 2021 17:49

paul.benny wrote:

Actually, having thought for another 30 seconds. Don't do it at all. But if you must move the goods, get a competent third party to move them - outsources substantially all of the compliance risks of transport

And the Health and Safety at work risk of employees manhandling (sorry, personhandling) large pieces of antique ‘stuff’ around their homes without adequate equipment and assistance.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By curious cat
17th Jun 2021 17:51

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Realistically I can't see anyone bringing the goods in at any other time than on the day they're due to work at the shop, so although the primary purpose of getting a cab would be to transport the goods, the fact that the staff are accompanying the goods means it's probably an argument we can't win.

As for the other points raised, these goods are small but heavy, so the point about it being a health and safety risk is a valid one, and getting a third party to move the goods will be preferable. If the load is smaller (a kilo or two) then maybe it's fine to carry in with a wheeled suitcase, but there's an interesting question there about how heavy is too heavy.

I was surprised by this, but the insurers are happy with staff having stock at home (I think it's somewhat expected in this industry).

Thanks (0)
Replying to curious cat:
avatar
By Hugo Fair
17th Jun 2021 18:51

I'd love to know what we're talking about ... hand-painted gym-weights?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Tax Dragon
18th Jun 2021 10:22

I love these discussions about tax law that make not the slightest references to the law itself. (My favourite sentence in a while is: "I can't back that up with referece to statute or HMRC manuals but I would claim it and argue the point if needed." Claim what and on what basis? Argue how?)

Thanks (3)
Share this content