Self-Employment, Consultants, Travelling Expenses

Self-Employment, Consultants, Travelling Expenses

There has been a recent tax case, a Dr David Jones HM Revenue & Customs 2015 which has quite worrying implications. This case went against the tax payer.

Dr David Jones is a self-employed Consultant Anaesthetist with an established private Practice at home where he maintained his office.

His private medical work involves him travelling to various hospitals at the instructions of surgeons in charge of the operation. He uses his base at home for his office, did his research and kept his accounting records there.

What happened was that he was denied tax relief on his travel from his home/office to two of the hospitals he visited.

It was established that he was not an itinerant trader with no fixed place of business other than his home. He attended the two hospitals on a regular basis although there was no set pattern. Minor travel to and from home to other hospitals was allowed.

Although there was no set pattern of attendance to the two main hospitals the visits were so frequent and predictable they were thought to be regular.

The Judge therefore held that both hospitals were work places for the tax payer and accordingly the related travel costs were disallowed.

There is a further tax case, Paul Mellor versus HM Revenue & Customs where it was classified that Mr Mellor was an itinerant worker and therefore his business base was his home and travel was allowed.

The implications of the Jones case are quite wide stretching, not just for anyone working in the medical professions but for others, say IT Consultants who have regular places of work to which they travel from their homes. Such expenses could therefore potentially not be allowable as deductions from profits.