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Can a live in carer claim food expenses?

This relates to a carer who lives with elderly people for a number of months or a year or two.

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Good evening,

A client of mine is a carer for the elderly. She lives in the property of the elderly person 24 hours during week days and takes care of all their needs over a number of months or a year or two. 

The family of the client is meant to supply her with food, but often this is insufficient or not provided at all.

Seeing as most of her jobs are temporary i.e. only lasting a few months or a year or two could she claim her food expenses during the course of her working day?

Thank you.

Replies (15)

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By gillybean04
20th Jan 2022 07:41

Why would the length of the contract affect whether she can claim tax relief on expenses?

That's not the correct test to apply.

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By Tax Dragon
20th Jan 2022 07:48

Is the carer self-employed, work through (and for) an agency, employed directly by the families, other?

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By kaff
20th Jan 2022 07:51

If the reason she's having to incur food expenses is because of a breach of the contract of engagement, then surely her recourse is against her employer rather than against the state?

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By johngroganjga
20th Jan 2022 07:56

What do you mean by “claim her food expenses”? Claim them from whom?

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By zebaa
20th Jan 2022 09:48

Presumably as a ‘necessary expense incurred in the nature of her trade’ as a tax deductible expense. As self employed, no chance, due to dual purpose, as a company employee, maybe. It may well be better to structure the agreement better with the customer, or their guardians, rather that mess about with a company / self employment structure.

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By Ant101
20th Jan 2022 12:05

Thanks for your responses. I also thought that that she would not get tax relief for these expenses. However, having looked at the previous self assessment tax returns prepared by the old accountant I can see that he claimed for everything, from food to clothing and mixed use phone bills, and started to wonder whether perhaps the temporary nature of the job could have led to this.

Thanks for confirming my suspicions....

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Replying to Ant101:
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By Tax Dragon
20th Jan 2022 12:13

So she's employed directly by the families on a series of short-term contracts, and they all don't pay her what they've agreed?

That sounds like something other than bad luck.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
20th Jan 2022 15:44

There are hurdles to operating via a service company in the care industry - dbs vetting and qualification/training barriers, I believe - that can be circumvented by being self-employed. So most non-agency carers tend to be either self-employed, or are employees employed directly by the families.

The standard contracts I've come across (eg NACAS) don't mention food. It's customary practice to provide a live-in carer with meals, even when the contract is silent on the matter. Generally such carers don't themselves do the shopping - for obvious reasons.

So we're whittling it down. Do we know for certain whether the trading status is employed by the family TD, or might our carer be sailing under self-employed colours?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Tax Dragon
20th Jan 2022 18:59

Not tax deductible either way.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
20th Jan 2022 19:10

Just deserts!

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Replying to Ant101:
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By Catherine Newman
20th Jan 2022 18:38

Christopher Lunn is detained at Her Majesty's pleasure for that kind of thing.

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Replying to Catherine Newman:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
20th Jan 2022 19:03

Jan 2016, sentenced to 5 years. Tempus fugit!

He's out and about, and may even be here in the forum.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
20th Jan 2022 20:30

I loved the understated but pointed comment from the administrator appointed to his business:
"There are lots of uncertainties, and in some respects it is unclear who the creditors are and also what HMRC’s claim might be. However, it is likely that the creditors will get most of their money back, as it was a well-run business in terms of its invoicing and cash collection processes."

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By Catherine Newman
20th Jan 2022 18:35

In whose opinion is the amount of food insufficient.? I contacted the BBC once as I was fed up with them commenting on people complaining that they didn't have enough to live on. They had 5 children and they looked as though they ate at McDonalds on a regular basis. I said at least the BBC could have found someone really convincing that you could empathise with.

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Replying to Catherine Newman:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
21st Jan 2022 08:53

Catherine Newman wrote:

I contacted the BBC once as I was fed up with them commenting on people complaining that they didn't have enough to live on. They had 5 children and they looked as though they ate at McDonalds on a regular basis.

Fat and pasty, were they?

Catherine Newman wrote:
I said at least the BBC could have found someone really convincing that you could empathise with.

Like a Lidl customer!

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