Claiming Further Education Costs
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    Default Claiming Further Education Costs

    I am currently running own Limited Company for a few years.
    I am looking to undertake a part time post graduate MSc course later this year over 2 years. This is to reinforce my existing services, knowledge & competency and offer a few additional services in my field. I am not seeking to retrain into a different field or sector.
    If I correct I can expense all
    Course fees (all 10,000)
    Subsistence expenses to attend the training taught & research modules and presentation days - accommodation, travel and meal expenses.
    Books, stationary as required.

    My accountant was saying I may not be able to reclaim evening meals (unless I finish at 8pm), despite being away from home and in all day lectures, and no access to any kitchen use. Is this incorrect?

    Also is a subsistence of around 5 per day (or other HMRC allowable expense) claimable from my Ltd Company? Cant find much on HMRC website about this.

    Is it acceptable to pay expenses via personal credit card then claim back from my own company, rather than use company debit card?

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    Why not get a student loan and then pay it back over 30 years? Or not pay it back over 30 years like most students.
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    Quick answer - you can claim all of it, but since it will be a clear BIK you will have to pay the taxes on all of it as well. Apart from anything else, it's enhancing your employability, not YourCo's.

    YourCo is not a magic money tree, it's a separate legal entity. It's no different to you asking Tesco to pay for your education.
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    Quote Originally Posted by malvolio View Post
    Quick answer - you can claim all of it, but since it will be a clear BIK you will have to pay the taxes on all of it as well. Apart from anything else, it's enhancing your employability, not YourCo's.

    YourCo is not a magic money tree, it's a separate legal entity. It's no different to you asking Tesco to pay for your education.
    My devil's advocate question would be that some companies are happy to pay for degrees and masters in subjects that are useful to them... Mrs Eek's masters was paid for by the council - many schools will pay for the school leadership qualifications even though it means the teacher will be leaving 2 years hence.

    The question is going to be how HMRC see it and that goes in a very interesting direction very quickly https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-...tax-deductible

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    Gosh don't HMRC make life difficult for people!


    The post graduate course would be to update and reinforce the work I do (high level engineering which requires knowledge of new research and facts).


    I had planned to attend the 4 modules as an industrial attendee (means pay the fee but no course work), but for a bit more cost and with course work, I would gain a Msc which is quite unique in the area of expertise - thus provide credibility and competency to existing clients what I am doing now.


    What the difference when a blue chip company sponsors (and pays for) some employees to attend similar courses to my Ltd company?


    If it is counted as BIK expense, what taxes are paid? Is this by the LtD Co or myself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    My devil's advocate question would be that some companies are happy to pay for degrees and masters in subjects that are useful to them... Mrs Eek's masters was paid for by the council - many schools will pay for the school leadership qualifications even though it means the teacher will be leaving 2 years hence.

    The question is going to be how HMRC see it and that goes in a very interesting direction very quickly https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-...tax-deductible

    I really should have become a tax accountant....
    Actually I read that back and realised I didn't put an answer down. The general consensus seemed to be that you can't claim for a masters due to the letters after your name providing benefits beyond just you current skillset. That opens up a different question for you however....

    Is it possible to do the course without the masters bit (that the company could pay for) and then pay for the masters bit personally after you've completed the rest of it....
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    The simple answer is that YourCo has one skill for sale whereas a large company have many skills and the flexibility to move people between roles. therefore they can pay for educating their workforce since there is no individual benefit to BigCo. YourCo, on the other hand, hasn't got that option since you are (usually) the only fee earner, practising in one area..

    There's a lot of detail behind that simplistic statement but in essence YourCo can only claim for "training" that is directly and fully aligned to its line of business. Peripheral skills, such as business management and sales training, or even learning new technology, don't qualify.

    You may have a case if you can demonstrate that your MSc fully meets that requirement, but since it's you that gains the benefit rather than YourCo, I doubt it will work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by diesel View Post
    What the difference when a blue chip company sponsors (and pays for) some employees to attend similar courses to my Ltd company?
    The difference to my mind is motivation.

    The blue chip company will pay for training for one of their staff where it benefits the company. If it primarily benefits the individual, not the company, then barring nepotism situations they won't fund it. Basically HMRC can afford to be more relaxed on allowing those claims, as if the cost wasn't wholly and exclusively for the benefit of the trade, the company wouldn't have paid for it in the first place.

    For your typical contractor company, the line is much more blurred. You do have motivation to get your company to pay for something that benefits you, not the company...and you call the shots. That's not to say it's crystal clear not allowable, but HMRC's suspicion of training costs will be much higher for one person businesses.

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    Training and tax I believe are handled completely differently in big organisations due to the grey area about what is benefit to the company and not so the people so you can't really compare with us just as Maslins says.

    Ignoring the big company argument looking at the OP's situation then it's pretty clear it doesn't meet the wholly and exclusively line so fairly black and white. MSc is the example we tend to use when explaining the situation to people as well oddly. I thought MSc was distinctly called out in the HMRC's examples somewhere as well?

    EDIT : Ah no it's the MBA I was thinking of.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 11th July 2017 at 10:36.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    My devil's advocate question would be that some companies are happy to pay for degrees and masters in subjects that are useful to them... Mrs Eek's masters was paid for by the council - many schools will pay for the school leadership qualifications even though it means the teacher will be leaving 2 years hence.

    The question is going to be how HMRC see it and that goes in a very interesting direction very quickly https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-...tax-deductible

    I really should have become a tax accountant....
    Well, it isn't too late. Part time study for both ATT and CIOT is very do-able if you are motivated enough. Never be out of work, for sure.
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