Share this content
10

Cleaners' travel - allowable or not?

Cleaners' travel - allowable or not?

Didn't find your answer?

Self-employed cleaners normally have a regular pattern of travel, visiting various clients on the same day every week or month. They may be based from home, but perhaps not enough to make the home a base for tax purposes.

Although technically, travel may not be tax deductible, this seems harsh.What does everybody else do?

Replies (10)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

By SteveHa
16th Dec 2019 13:30

If they are genuinely self-employed, why would the travel not be allowable? Provided the W&E conditions are met there's no problem. Even HMRC's own guidance (usually unreliable) bears this out. https://www.gov.uk/expenses-if-youre-self-employed/travel

Are you perhaps confusing with WEN for employed?

Thanks (0)
Replying to SteveHa:
avatar
By The Dullard
16th Dec 2019 13:44

No the OP is referring to HMRC's insistence (post-Samadian) that if there is a predictable pattern to the travel, then it isn't allowable, and taking it too literally.

@OP:

HMRC's position is, in fact, that if there is a regular pattern of travel from home to places where the trade is carried out (as in Samadian), then it isn't allowable.

They won't, however, generally seek to disallow travel expenditure for a genuinely peripatetic trader, such as the chimney sweep considered in Horton v Young. See the opening sentence in BIM37935.

What isn't clear is how they will treat the case of, say a market trader, that goes to different markets on different days of the week with a regular pattern. There guidance conveniently forgets the circuit barrister considered in either Newsom v Robertson or Horton v Young, I can't remember which, but it's probably the latter.

Thanks (0)
RLI
By lionofludesch
16th Dec 2019 13:58

It's a good question.

On the face of it, a cleaner going to the same customer every week in pretty much like Dr Samadian going to the same hospital every week.

I'm wondering whether the difference is that the cleaner goes to the customer whereas Dr Samadian travelled to a hospital where the patient came to him.

I have to say that I wouldn't have given the cleaner's travel a thought. 100% allowable for me.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By sunshine
16th Dec 2019 15:17

Thank you all - a tax helpline advised to disallow travel to regular cleaning jobs at the same place, on the same day of the week, every week, as HMRC could argue that a base had been created.

As it has also been found that work at home does not necessarily create a base, this could count as home to work travel.

Thank you for confirming that in practice this probably wouldn't happen.

Although, when I looked up 'peripatetic' it did seem to mean 'travelling from place to place' or 'based in various places for short periods' so would include itinerant or short term site based jobs, rather than the regular predictable pattern with an indefinite nature, of cleaning jobs.

I agree that a barrister's chambers or a doctor's hospital room is a base in a way that a cleaner's client's home or office is not though - so perhaps the type of journey is potentially disallowable, except that a base has not been created.

Thanks (0)
Replying to sunshine:
RLI
By lionofludesch
16th Dec 2019 15:28

sunshine wrote:
......as HMRC could argue that a base had been created.

I'd like to see their argument for that.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By airgeadagam
16th Dec 2019 15:40

I would have thought that the initial journey to the first client and the last one home would be disallowed but travel between clients in-between times would be allowable.

Thanks (0)
Replying to airgeadagam:
avatar
By The Dullard
16th Dec 2019 15:57

An approach which the court ruled out when considering the hypothetical chimney sweep considered in Horton v Young.

Thanks (0)
By penelope pitstop
16th Dec 2019 16:50

That is a very good question, and one which I would have eventually posed on Aweb to see what everyone else was doing.

My friend regularly cleans a golf club on a weekly, self-employed basis. She also cleans a number of private homes on a weekly, self-employed basis.

I guess that very little work is done from home, and that the organisational side may be done "on the hoof" with a mobile phone. I reckon that she will be paid in cash either left on the kitchen worktop or straight from the golf club cash register.

I guess that she may be claiming for all mileage once she sets foot outside her house until when she comes back. I have wondered that if due to the regularity and length of each cleaning contract she should be disallowing her mileage claims, although I take airgeadagam's point above.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By airgeadagam
20th Dec 2019 08:54

Just had a thought, are they sole traders, do they qualify to use the traders allowance?

Thanks (0)
Replying to airgeadagam:
By JCresswellTax
20th Dec 2019 10:44

They probably will but that only amounts to just over 2,200 miles. Add to that cleaning materials and the trading allowance isn't worth claiming.

Thanks (0)
Share this content

Related posts