Self employed – fixed place of work

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  • #39773
    David
    Participant

    I have searched forums and a slightly similar case was discussed in 2009,and I have read CH/1330/2008 as a result.

    However, I wonder if there have been any recent UT decisions or any comments anyone might have..

    Self employed claimant teaches in London one day a week. This is her only work – she only works term time.

    She is registered as self employed, the realtionship seems to be more akin to employer/employee. Can we take into account travel costs (which are over £2500)?

    #113335
    Kevin D
    Participant

    On the facts as stated, this seems to be commuting. If so, the costs are not allowable. CJSA/4721/2001 may also be of interest.

    #113349
    David
    Participant

    Thank you. That was the conclusion that I had come to based on the circumstances.

    #113409
    Roger Burnett
    Participant

    I know the tax a bit better than the benefits position but a place of work can be temporary (ie not really commuting) for up to 24 months for HMRC purposes.

    #113412
    Kevin D
    Participant

    True Roger. But that’s the crux – the “place of work”. If the place of work is “A”, expenses for travelling to it (from home) are not for the purposes of the business. The travel is in order to get to the place of business (hence the admittedly loose use of the word commuting). From memory, there was a long and occasionally heated debate in a thread on hbinfo a few years ago on precisely this point. At the time, I took a different view. Until that is, someone posted something from the HMRC site which was pretty conclusive (case law cited et al) that travelling to the “place of work” from home wasn’t allowable even for tax purposes.

    In CH/1330/2008, the “place of work” was found to the the claimant’s home. On that basis, any travel to “client” sites meant it was allowable. However, based on the info set out by the OP, it’s difficult to see how the claimant’s home is the “place of work” on the facts of that case.

    Just for clarity, I’m not making a moral argument. I think the distinctions have the capacity to result in some pretty stupid outcomes. But, legally, I think David is stuck with the decision he has indicated he will make.

    #113420
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    I think Kevin/David probably have it here – although one day’s work elsewhere could have made all the difference!

    #113424
    Kevin D
    Participant

    I agree Andy. If there is more than one “client” in any reasonable given period, it may well be arguable that home can be regarded as the “place of work”. Alternatively, if someone is employed by an umbrella company, the “place of work” may well be that company’s location even if the person never sets foot on the company’s premises. Er, I think some benefit contractors will identify with that :-).

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