Home based travel costs

Doctor Samadian works from home and has contracts with a number of private and NHS hospitals.

As he has a home-based office, from where he runs and administers his business, he has claimed for the costs of travel as follows:

·         from his home/work base to his various, contracted private hospital clients;

·         from the NHS hospitals, where he was an employee, to the private hospitals.

HMRC considered that the claims were not bona fide business costs and sought to disallow them. Dr Samadian appealed.

The case, when heard by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT), decided that neither of these circumstances qualified the travel costs as incurred “wholly and exclusively” for the purposes of a trade, and Dr Samadian’s appeal was denied.

The case was then heard, on appeal, by the Upper Tier Tribunal, who upheld the decision of the FTT.

This seems to be an odd conclusion by the courts. Essentially they are saying that:

·         Travel expenses for journeys between home (even where the home is used as place of business) and places of business are treated as non-deductible (other                than in very exceptional circumstances).

·         Travel expenses for journeys between a location which is not a place of business and a location which is a place of business are not deductible.

If applied to all self-employed persons who worked from home this would seem to deny tax relief on travel costs that they believe are expended solely for business purposes.

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