HMRC – Doctor’s travel expenses not allowed!!

HMRC – Doctor’s travel expenses not allowed!!

You can claim travel expenses when working as self-employed, but it be very difficult to understand what you can claim or cannot claim. A recent tax case of Dr S Jain vs HMRC is a good example of this.
Dr Jain was employed by the NHS as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon but he also carried out private medical work in two areas – firstly providing medical reports to agencies for litigation purposes and secondly providing private consultations.

SoleTrader Tax Accountants Expenses

Medical report work:
Dr Jain would meet his client for an initial consultation which would be done at one of two different hospitals. He would go to each hospital once a month. One of the hospitals he would visit for one day and the other for two days in total per month. In both cases he would stay at a nearby hotel and afterwards he would then prepare the reports at his home.

Dr Jain claimed travel, subsistence and accommodation costs in relation to the visits to the two hospitals where he met the clients for this report work.


HMRC’s Arguments:
HMRC argued that he should not be allowed to claim the travel and related expenses for this report work and the case went to the first tier tribunal where the tribunal found that although his home was his place of business for the medical reports work, the two hospitals he visited to meet clients in relation to this work were also places of business – this meant that his travel and related expenses were not tax allowable.
HMRC applied this argument that his attendance of the two locations was regular and predictable – referring to a previous landmark tax case in this respect which was Dr Samadian v HMRC.

Main Points:
A key point to understand with this case is that HMRC disallowed travel between one fixed business base of operation to another.

This shows the difficulties in understanding the tax laws relating to claiming travel expenses when you are self employed.

Our advice would be that once travel to a location becomes regular it is most likely that HRMC will disallow it, but case law is constantly developing in this area.

This article is about self employed travel expenses, the rules are different for limited companies.

If you would like advice contact Tim Director of Sales at Makes Sense on 07920 141762

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