HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Minister Challenges HMRC

LGC reports that local government minister Brandon Lewis is challenging HMRC over its decision that councillors should pay tax on travel allowances for journeys from their residences to the town hall.

Lewis got involved when several authorities began to tax the allowances in response to the warnings from HMRC.

Under HMRC guidance, councillors must pay tax on the allowances unless they can prove their home is the site of their core work, which includes being the location for their meetings with constituents.

Several councils have indicated that tax officials have started raising the issue in routine visits, since an HMRC ruling that Kent CC tax its members on the allowances.

I am a tad confused as to why the councillors have only just started being taxed on their "to council" travel allowances, given that (subject to them meeting their constituents in their homes) their normal place of work is the council. Private sector employees are not entitled to claim tax relief on travel allowances paid for travel between their homes and their normal place of work, why should councillors be treated differently?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Private sector workers don't normally get paid an allowance for travelling to/from work so why should councillors.

    1. Unlike councillors, private sector workers normally get paid a salary/wages, though.

      The reason councillors get allowances, including for travel, is to try to ensure it's not just people rich enough to take unpaid time off work (or not work) and to afford to travel. That's the theory, anyway...

      Stew G

  2. "why should councillors be treated differently?"

    They aren't, and I can't see that anything has changed. HMRC has just investigated some councillors to check they're applying the existing rules correctly and decided that they haven't been. Kent County Council have just made a bit of a fuss as a result.

    Storm in a teacup.

    Stew G