Top tips in reducing your expenses bill

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International expenses management specialist Concur has released a series of myth-busting whitepapers for businesses that need advice about expenses. This digest for our Business Tax Library summarises some of the key points.

According to Concur, the most common expenses ‘hotspots’ in the UK are driven by HMRC’s risk-based approach to compliance which focuses on areas where companies are lest likely to pay the correct amount of tax.

“Focus groups within HMRC exist to concentrate on these areas, to support companies of all sizes in their tax paying efforts. The smaller the business, the less likely there will be an expert on specific tax areas within the organisation,” said Matt Lewis, director of compliance at Concur.

This article highlights the myths that have grown up around what’s claimable on expenses in the UK and one of the most commonly asked about areas: travel expenses.

The full version of this article, available to logged-in AccountingWEB members, "busts" the following expenses myths:

  • Myth: Paying expenses can supplement your salary
  • Myth: You must keep original paper receipts to meet HMRC requirements
  • Myth: all company cars are subject to taxation
  • Myth: You can pay any mileage allowances you want
  • Myth: You can reclaim VAT on all travel expenses
  • Myth: Complying with HMRC guidelines is all you need to do

For more expenses advice, see: 

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By cfield
25th Feb 2013 23:24

Company cars


There are two classes of company cars where you pay absolutely no tax: pool cars and disability cars, provided they meet certain conditions. HMRC looks on providing cars to employees with a disability as a generosity, although if it is subject to private use, must be reported to HMRC 


 I would technically disagree with this interpretation in 2 areas. Firstly, when is a "pool car" not a pool car? Answer - when it is only used by one employee or ordinarily used by one employee to the exclusion of others. This rules out any car that is used as a workhorse mainly by a particular individual whose job it may be to run errands or deliveries.

However, such a car would still be exempt if it can be proved it was not available for anyone's private use, which usually means making sure the car is not taken home at night or at weekends. So just because it is not technically a pool car, that does not mean you cannot claim exemption for it, but you do need to be careful about its "availability".

Secondly, disabled employees do not have a blanket exemption from the company car rules. True, they do enjoy certain concessions, such as home to work travel (provided the car has been adapted to their needs). Also, they are taxed on the value of the nearest manual equivalent if they can only drive an automatic car due to their disability.

Otherwise, good article.


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By James26
12th Mar 2013 16:30


I'd not heard "AMAP only applies to one vehicle per person per year." before reading this article.  Is this correct can someone point to the legislation that makes this operational?

A lot of people are 2 car families so I imagine there are a number of people technically in breach if this is the case.  I don't think I've seen an expenses sytem that stops claims for more than one vehicle per employee per year.

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10th Jun 2013 12:26

Company Cars

Actually there are three classes of company cars where no tax is payable and it's a nice little argument for the taxman. Anybody know what it is?  (I'll give you the answer in 3 days time)

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10th Jun 2013 14:19

AMAP and Tax Matters

If an employee has 2 or more jobs (ie part time or change of employer during the year) AMAP applied to each employment (confirmed by HMRC)

The third class of company car is I hope that which is never available for private use eg chauffeur driven company car

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11th Jun 2013 13:15


Hi Paul - No it's not the black suited driver. He's probably a pool car but I'd have to look that one up. This one is a bit nichie but you can push some clients down this road. See you on Thursday - John

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13th Jun 2013 14:50


It was a bit unfair really but a bit of fun is allowed. The answer is Emergency response vehicles! I'm having some tribulations trying to persuade the Revenue that they should allow my client this perq. Needless to say they are being a little stubborn. I'll keep anyone posted if they are interested. All the best  John

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