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Training Costs : HMRC v Banerjee

Expenses for self-employed – any expenses must be incurred ‘wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade or profession’.
Expenses for employees – the restrictions for expenses that can be claimed by an employee are much stricter.  For an expense to be allowable it must be incurred, ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of their duties of employment’.

Traditionally the types of expenses that an employee can claim for have been restricted to fees paid to professional bodies, personal tools that the employer requires the employee to provide and business travel.

However, in the case, HMRC Vs Banerjee, a former registrar, successfully applied for and claimed a tax refund for courses and training costs which she had paid for personally. Prior to this case this type of expense had been disallowed when claimed by a surgeon as the courts had argued that the expense was not incurred ‘in the performance of his duties of employment’; those duties of employment being to provide care to the sick.

HMRC have now provided additional guidance in their manual EIM32530, regarding the circumstances and requirements which need to exist for claiming training costs.

If you think that you may be eligible to make a claim for training costs incurred in the last 4 years, we recommend that you first read this guidance provided by HMRC
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/eim32530.htm

You will see from this guidance that there are a number of pre-requisites required for making a successful claim:

  •  There is a mandatory requirement for the employee to undertake the external training as an intrinsic part of the duties of the employment and,
  •  Failure to complete the training and obtain the qualification will mean that the employee will not be able to continue in employment with the employer in the role that would otherwise have been available to them after qualification.
  • Any personal benefit incurred from the course, unlike most CPE courses, would be incidental and not therefore give rise to a dual purpose of the expenditure.

Some professional medical bodies are suggesting that their members may be able to claim the exam fees. This particular matter was not dealt with in the Banerjee case and it is uncertain whether HMRC will extend tax relief to cover exam fees.

The Revenue are reluctant to give tax relief on training expenses incurred based on one case which in many instances appears to contradict earlier legal decisions.

We are currently waiting for a response for a number of claims we have submitted for our clients based on this Banerjee case.

There is a 4 year limit on claims

It is possible to make a tax rebate claim up to four years in arrears. If the training expenses you have incurred include expenses going back four years, you may wish to make a claim now so that you do not miss the deadline.

How we can help you

We often provide a pro-forma letter for claiming tax relief on course fees for our clients to complete and submit to HMRC themselves.

Be aware, there may be a catch…

When a claim of this nature is submitted to the Revenue this automatically leads the Revenue to review the PAYE deducted in earlier years.  If, therefore, you have changed jobs at any time in the previous tax years or if your employer has operated an incorrect tax code for you, as is often the case, then it is possible for a taxpayer to find themselves with an additional tax liability rather than a tax refund.

If you are not completely sure that the Revenue have already reviewed the earlier years then we strongly advise against submitting a claim of this nature without first asking us to calculate if there is any underpayment that you are not aware of.

You will know that the Revenue have looked into an earlier year if they have sent you a form P800 or a claim for payment or refund for a particular year.

 

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HOW WE CAN HELP

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What our clients say…

Dr William Jasper, GP Partner

We have received an excellent service since we moved to Nichols & Co. The transition has been the most hassle-free and transparent. They are always very helpful with any queries you might have and have a very good working knowledge of General Practice and are keenly aware of the challenges Practices face within the changing environment of the NHS.

We have been very impressed by the way Nichols & Co continue to deliver the range of services they provide from Accounts to Tax and NHS Pension advice.

At the year-end meetings, the accounts are presented in an understandable format without any unnecessary jargons. We have found Practice consultation and advice on Practice as well as personal tax matters from Nichols & Co specifically helpful.

We would not hesitate to recommend them to other GP Practices.

Dr C DeSouza, Salaried GP

I am a GP who works both in salaried and sessional roles. I have been with Nichols & Co for nearly three years. They have helped with my tax returns and can help with the range of different forms required in GP work. Danny and Shadmir have been accurate and efficient in their advice and guidance throughout. They have also been helpful and responsive when I have needed advice on the purchase of a car and also when looking to prove my income in order to get a mortgage. The system for providing income details and expenses is very easy to use and the summary they provide of how and when to pay your tax could not be clearer. I would recommend Nichols & Co to any colleague looking for an accountant with a good knowledge of GP work. 

Dr Ravi Bansal, Locum GP

I’ve been with Nichols and Co for nearly 10 years with Debra being my accountant. I first contacted them when I received letters for tax arrears due to the wrong tax codes being applied during my hospital jobs.

Debra sorted this matter out and has always provided helpful and honest advice regarding tax matters. She has also helped my wife with her tax returns. I would definitely recommend their services for accounting matters with a special interest in helping doctors with their tax affairs. They are approachable, helpful and efficient.

Dr David Paige, Consultant Dermatologist, The Holly Private Hospital

The reason I was first attracted to Nichols was when I heard Mr Nichols explain the complexities of the Life-time allowance and the Annual allowance changes in simple terms. I have had no regrets using this firm as they are very trustworthy and honest.

They also sorted out my allocation of rental income to my partner correctly which I had been badly advised on before by a very large and well known accountancy firm.

They respond in a timely manner to queries and (politely) chase me up over submitting my tax return details. I would recommend them to anybody in the medical profession.

Mr Muhammed Siddiqui, Hospital Doctor

As a trainee I was very unaware of the tax system when starting work. I was pursuing surgery and it resulted in paying for a lot of courses and locuming to support my journey. The tax system was very complicated and when I went to see Debra as I really had no idea how to start sorting out my tax affairs including correcting tax codes and what the locuming income meant for my current PAYE system and also how I could maximise my tax free amount with subscriptions.
I cannot thank them enough for helping. They really listened to my concerns and needs. I had never thought of getting an accountant until then and had never thought of stopping except for the fairness that Nichols and Co have dealt with me. They’ve taken me to a place where I am now beginning to do my own tax returns resulting in independence. Their ethical approach towards me has resulted in recommending my sister and other colleagues to seek their help. My emails are always answered quickly and appropriately. They are and, in particular, Debra truly exceptional accountants.

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Nichols & Co
Unit 7, Mulberry Place
Pinnell Road
Eltham
London SE9 6AR

020 8850 3300
admin@nichols.uk.net

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HOW WE CAN HELP

A specialist healthcare team to advise you
Call free for support at any time
Keep you up to date with the latest changes
No fuss, smooth process to change to us
Members of AISMA - Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants

Meet our team

We have a panel of subject experts and a team of professional accountancy support staff to make sure your specific needs are met reliably and cost effectively.

FREE

EXPERT CONSULTATION

Talk to one of our Medical Accounting Team for free. We can discuss your circumstances and how we can help you achieve better financial management, reduce your tax bills or plan for the future with a tailored fixed price plan.

Nichols Medical Accounting

What our clients say...

We have been with Nichols & Co for over a year now. Very smooth transition with good communication at all times. We found them very professional and their knowledge of general practice is very reassuring. They make what can be complex situations easy to understand. They have also introduced us to a Personally Administered Items claim review service, which has helped us not only making a retrospective claim for the missed income but also delivering improvement in our PAI income going forward. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for an excellent, friendly, reliable accountancy service.

Tracy Ford, Practice Manager

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Name Surname, Senior Recruitment Consultant

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Name Surname, Senior Recruitment Consultant

Self Employed

As a Self Employed locum GP both Method 1 and Method 2 are available to claim motor expenses.

If I chose method 2, how would this work?

So, as an example, if you used your car 50% for business and 50% for private use, you could claim a tax deduction on the costs as detailed below:

Example Total Annual Running Costs
Petrol: £2,600
Insurance: £1,000
Repairs: £500
Road tax: £120
Annual service: £800
RAC/AA: £75
Total: £5,095

Less 50% for private use: £2,547
Allowable expense £2,548

How do Capital Allowances work?

You can also claim capital allowances on the cost of the car. The rate of capital allowances you can claim is dependent upon the CO2 emission level of your vehicle. The amount you can claim can range from 100% to 6%. A 100% capital allowance claim accelerates the available tax relief.

To qualify for 100% first year capital allowances, there is an upper CO2 emissions limit of 50 g/km which was introduced from 6 April 2018 and will last until 2023. The car must be bought new.

For a sole trader with a top rate of tax at 40% who would use the car with 50% private use the following tax savings would be made:

Example Costs
Based on: BMW i3 Electric 12 ah Auto.
Purchased: 2019/20 Tax Year
List price: £35,125
Capital allowances claim: £35,125, but restricted to 50% business use, therefore tax relief £17,562 at 40% tax plus 2% NIC.

Tax saving in year of purchase: £7,376 (42% x £17,562)
This means that, after tax, cost of the vehicle is an effective £27,749.

The following link shows the current 285 vehicles that qualify:
http://comcar.co.uk/advanced/selector/profiles/FirstYearAllowance?clk=1

Which method is best?

If you are buying a car which you are using mainly for business and doing a large amount of business miles, then method 2 (the Capital Allowance Claim) usually gives a higher tax relief.

Salaried

You will almost always make a claim using Method 1, the mileage claim.

Limited Company

You will almost always claim using Method 1, the mileage claim.

Umbrella Company

The umbrella company will dictate what expenses you can claim. You will nearly always use Method 1, the mileage claim.

Tracy Ford, Practice Manager

We have been with Nichols & Co for over a year now. Very smooth transition with good communication at all times. We found them very professional and their knowledge of general practice is very reassuring. They make what can be complex situations easy to understand.

They have also introduced us to a Personally Administered Items claim review service, which has helped us not only making a retrospective claim for the missed income but also delivering improvement in our PAI income going forward.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for an excellent, friendly, reliable accountancy service.

Dr William Jasper, GP Partner

We have received an excellent service since we moved to Nichols & Co. The transition has been the most hassle-free and transparent. They are always very helpful with any queries you might have and have a very good working knowledge of General Practice and are keenly aware of the challenges Practices face within the changing environment of the NHS.

We have been very impressed by the way Nichols & Co continue to deliver the range of services they provide from Accounts to Tax and NHS Pension advice.

At the year-end meetings, the accounts are presented in an understandable format without any unnecessary jargons. We have found Practice consultation and advice on Practice as well as personal tax matters from Nichols & Co specifically helpful.

We would not hesitate to recommend them to other GP Practices.

Drs R and N Nair

Nichols & Co have been our accountants for the last 6 years and we always feel that we are a valued client of theirs. They respond promptly to any queries you have either via email or telephone or if need be, in person. Each year Debra visits me at my practice and takes time to go through the accounts with me so that I really understand them, helping me make better decisions.

In 2017, we moved into new premises, and Nichols and Co were able to assist me with claiming back a large amount of tax on the refurbishment of our new premises.

Our practice has changed a great deal over the last few years and having the support of a good accountant has been a great help. I would recommend them without reservations.

GP Partner, London

Nichols and Co have provided high standard medical accountancy services to our GP practice for many years. 

They are experienced in their field and provide a dedicated partner who attends our annual financial partnership meeting. This meeting allows time for all involved to raise queries regarding issues such as tax and pension. Additionally, wider comparisons are made with local and national figures. Queries raised at other times are dealt with in a professional and time efficient manner.

I can recommend them.

Dr C DeSouza, Salaried GP

I am a GP who works both in salaried and sessional roles. I have been with Nichols & Co for nearly three years. They have helped with my tax returns and can help with the range of different forms required in GP work. Danny and Shadmir have been accurate and efficient in their advice and guidance throughout. They have also been helpful and responsive when I have needed advice on the purchase of a car and also when looking to prove my income in order to get a mortgage. The system for providing income details and expenses is very easy to use and the summary they provide of how and when to pay your tax could not be clearer. I would recommend Nichols & Co to any colleague looking for an accountant with a good knowledge of GP work. 

Dr PS, Salaried GP

I have employed the services of Nichols and Co accountants since 2016 and I have found their services to be second-to-none.

Mr Shadmir Baig has been my accountant since 2016 and his expertise and timely assessments have really helped in tackling tax matters and my anxieties around them. The advice I have received is always accurate, simple to follow and the response time is simply excellent!

I have always been able to access services rapidly. The firm has an extremely organised reminder system so that deadlines are not breached and for someone juggling a busy job and parenthood this is a huge help. The firm exceeds itself when it comes to friendly and accurate advice. The staff are always extremely helpful.

I am absolutely thrilled with their services and would not hesitate at all to recommend this firm to friends and colleagues.

Dr Helen Butler, Salaried GP

As a newly-qualified, portfolio GP with lots of different workstreams, the prospect of a self-assessment tax return was rather overwhelming! Debra immediately put me at ease at our initial meeting. 5 years on, Debra and the team continue to make the whole process so simple and are always friendly and approachable. I have recommended Debra to many colleagues over the years. A fantastic service. Thanks Debra!

Dr Emma Agyekum, Salaried GP

I am a salaried GP who owns a rental property and locums and Nichols have looked after all aspects of my taxation for several years. They have provided me with valuable advice for which I am extremely grateful and respond to queries competently, thoroughly and efficiently. They have taken the time to educate me on various financial matters which makes filing my self assessment tax return almost effortless. I am always impressed by how speedily they respond to my emails and submit tax returns which enables me to better plan for the financial year ahead. I would confidently recommend their professional, efficient, friendly and reliable service to anyone.

Steve Nichols

Steve Nichols

Chartered Accountant & Chartered Tax Advisor

First Last

Position

Email:

[Biography here]

First Last

Position

Email:

[Biography here]

Shadmir Baig

Shadmir Baig

Chartered Certified Accountant