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Is a payment for an alarm call out taxable?

One off alarm call out payments only occuring when the employee responds to an alarm call out 

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11th Feb 2019 10:55

I would say that as the payment arises from the employment, it's taxable. No question.

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11th Feb 2019 10:59

Looked into this years ago. May have changed BUT back then.
Normal alarm call out taxable in normal way.
IF actually performing their duties, e.g. updating fire brigade on safety issues whilst travelling then travelling cost may not be taxable. Attendance payment taxable in normal way.

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11th Feb 2019 12:03

Last time that I looked the travel was to their permanent workplace, even though it was out of hours, and therefore treated as ordinary commuting. The employer can pay it but needs to go on form P11d

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to Cloudcounter
11th Feb 2019 12:50

Or PSA which might be less unpopular...

SC

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11th Feb 2019 14:43

There are a number of possible misconceptions in this thread that may limit its usefulness..

1) Cash payments can NEVER be included in a PSA.
2) A cash payment for private travel has to be PAYEd (except where the vehicle is a company vehicle, where a fuel benefit will then arise), and has no place on a P11D.
3) A distinction needs to be drawn between travelling in the performance of duties, where the costs are always deductible, irrespective of the origin and destination (that was thee point in Pook v Owen), and travel to a place to perform duties, which is when private travel is excluded.
4) It's unlikely that Pook v Owen will ever apply outside of the medical profession though. Whilst information may be provided in relation to the incident, before/during travel, there is no performance of duties per say. In Pook v Owen it was considered that there had been clinical care for the patient at the outset of the journey, and there were other specific circumstances. I know that HMRC specifically will not accept home to shout travel for senior fire officers, for example, where there is strategic decision making during or at the outset of the journey.

All taxable, all PAYEable in my view, unless there has been mileage paid for using a company vehicle, when the mileage won't then be taxable, but there will be a fuel benefit.

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to Vile Nortin Naipaan
11th Feb 2019 17:45

Re 4) HMRC suggest the following on the point I made:-

"Such payments are taxable as earnings within Section 62 ITEPA 2003 (see generally EIM00520 onwards), unless all the following conditions are satisfied:

the employee gives advice on handling the emergency on receipt of the telephone call and
the employee accepts responsibility for those aspects appropriate to his or her duties from that time and
the employee has a continuing responsibility for the emergency whilst travelling to their normal place of employment."

They reference Pook v Owen but don't limit the claim to the medical profession.

https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim10040

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to Wanderer
12th Feb 2019 11:47

Yes. EIM10040 is [***].

It draws from EIM32386, where you will notice that there is one other effective condition (that the employee's home is a workplace), and it needs to be within Pook v Owen (see EIM32373). Having to go in when the alarm goes off won't put you within Pook v Owen.

https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim32386

https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim32373

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14th Feb 2019 15:00

This sounds familiar. Client with supermarkets requires managers to deal with out of hours callouts[usually alarm system generated]. In practice HMRC rule, which requires individual to deal with emergency from time of call, is impossible to satisfy.

Silver lining, paradoxically cost of return journey, being out of hours, is allowable as wholly, exclusively and necessarily in course of employment!

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