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Sam, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 14154
Experience:  26 HMRC expertise, PAYE, Self Assessment ,Residency, Rental Income, Capital Gains, CIS ask for Sam Tax
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Hi, I am currently trying to complete my 2013/2014 self assessment

Customer Question

Hi, I am currently trying to complete my 2013/2014 self assessment tax return, and confused by a few issues.
I am a freelance site manager and work for different companies around the UK via an agency. Last year I worked the whole year, and things are looking good for this.
Whilst I am away, I stay in my caravan which is a lot cheaper and more convenient than hotels/digs. I sometimes work 7 days, or if I have the weekend off I travel home.
Obviously there is travelling involved between my caravan site and place of work.
Can I claim against income tax for the following; 1. The site fees. 2. Travelling to and from the caravan site to the building site. 3. Food whilst I am away. 4. Travelling to/from the caravan site if I go home for the weekend.
I own my caravan and car with no finance. Can I claim anything against the cost of my caravan and or car for business use. Approximate costs around £9k each .

Many thanks in advance, Alan.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your question, I am Sam and I am one of the UK tax experts here on Just Answer.

I am afraid as all your work comes via an agency - any allowable expenses would have been paid tax free to you by them. And I assume that as part of your role, you are expected/asked to travel around the whole of the UK. But as it happens these payments )if made to you) would be treated as emoluments and liable to tax and possible National Insurance, so I am afraid you can not claim anything.

I have added a link here from the HMRC manual that details your position

This states

Subsistence payments made by the agency or the client because the worker is obliged to travel or live away from home in order to work at the client's premises are emoluments chargeable under Section 19(1) ICTA 1988/earnings within Section 62 ITEPA 2003, see Elderkin v Hindmarsh 60TC651. PAYE must be applied and Class 1 NICs may be due depending on the circumstances.

The exception is where an agency worker is on detached duty from the client's premises at a temporary workplace. In such circumstances reasonable subsistence payments made for the period of detached duty are not emoluments chargeable under Section 19(1) ICTA 1988 (SE10060) or earnings within Section 62 ITEPA 2003 (EIM10060).

So as part of your agreement to undertake this work with the agency - the location itself becomes your normal workplace and other deviations throughout any one day/period of time allocated to that role, that sees you having to go elsewhere would ever be deeme4d to be business travel.
So you cannot claim for the travel to and from, or the caravan itself.

I am sorry the news is not more favourable.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the bad news. But surely if I were to stay in hotels I would be able to claim for these ?


Is there absolutely nothing that I can currently claim for ?

Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your response

Sadly, no, I am afraid hotel costs would have to be borne out of your own pocket - as you take each job offered from the agency knowing its location and the fact you will incur the cost to remain local to its placement.

The link I gave you applied to ALL costs -whether caravan or hotel - as this placement becomes your permanent workplace for the duration.

Do you use any tools for your job? Have any insurance that you pay for personally - safety wear that you purchase yourself (such as high vis jacket, safety boots, gloves, hard hat ) these would be allowable as an expenses claim