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Samadian mileage tribunal appeal dismissed

27th Jan 2014
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An upper tier tribunal has ruled in favour of HMRC in a long-running case concerning the tax deductibility of business travel expenses.

The appeal was brought by Dr Samad Samadian, and his defeat will have a wider impact on self-employed individuals, according to Abbey Tax consultant Guy Smith.

Last year Samadian lost a first tier tribunal against HMRC's assessment that his business mileage claims to and from his home office and a private hospital were not wholly and exclusively allowable expenditure.

At the upper tier tribunal this month, Samadian sought to overturn that decision and argued that he should be able to reclaim travel expenses for journeys between NHS and private hospitals, and between his home and private hospitals as they are, in his view, incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of his private practice...

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Replies (3)

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By carnmores
29th Jan 2014 11:07

the law is an ass[***]

but we all know that dont we

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By moneymanager
03rd Feb 2014 12:20

A matter of focus

More time wasted by HMRC, accountants, and taxpayers managing the 'haystack'

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By cfield
03rd Feb 2014 16:31

Confusion will reign

As Guy said, not unexpected, but this ruling will muddy the waters still further.

Already we have a grey area as to what constitutes a "local patch" given that habitual journeys far from home don't qualify. This can get particularly vexing when the sole trader/partner has recently moved and his local patch is now further from home. How near do you have to be?

Now we will to decide whether a business trip is habitual or itinerant. There must be a million and one situations in between. I know that always was the rule, but this decision will up the stakes further as HMRC will now focus on travel with a vengeance.

Ironically, employees have an easier time than the self-employed with the travel rules, especially if they work through their own companies so each assignment forms part of the "same job". The temporary workplace rules are exceptionally generous compared to the travel regime for sole traders.

I think most subbies will have a hard time claiming travel if they attend the same site for more than a few months. No 2 year rule for them. As for asking them to keep mileage logs, don't make me laugh! You can stress it to your clients all you want, but at the end of the day most of them just won't do it. The best you can do is a retrospective estimate based on round mileage x frequency.

If the Government really want to simplify the tax system, they could do worse than make the temporary workplace rules applicable to the self-employed too. That way, at least we would all be dancing to the same tune.


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