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Umbrella travel expenses - one-off trip near client site for 100% wfh contract

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    #21
    Can you not simplify the situation and just ask for your client to buy your train tickets and book the hotel for you?

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      #22
      Originally posted by pr1 View Post
      Can you not simplify the situation and just ask for your client to buy your train tickets and book the hotel for you?
      Becomes a benefit in kind for which tax would still need to be paid.

      The simple fact is that HMRC regards every contract via an umbrella company as a unique piece of "permanent" employment with the end client (not the umbrella).

      And all of those pieces of "permanent" employment will have an office base from which you can't claim expenses.

      Best example of this is Microsoft where for 90% of home workers* Reading is their office base so no journeys to/ from Reading are claimable.

      * for some people Paddington ends up being their base but that's only for people very near London and even then you ain't getting expenses to Reading / you just don't get them for going to London either.
      merely at clientco for the entertainment

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        #23
        Originally posted by eek View Post

        Becomes a benefit in kind for which tax would still need to be paid.

        The simple fact is that HMRC regards every contract via an umbrella company as a unique piece of "permanent" employment with the end client (not the umbrella).

        And all of those pieces of "permanent" employment will have an office base from which you can't claim expenses.

        Best example of this is Microsoft where for 90% of home workers* Reading is their office base so no journeys to/ from Reading are claimable.

        * for some people Paddington ends up being their base but that's only for people very near London and even then you ain't getting expenses to Reading / you just don't get them for going to London either.
        When I was a permie I had hotels and trains booked for me all the time without me getting (knowingly?) taxed on them, and I was pretty meticulous at checking my pay slips etc - if the destination is not the permanent workplace [as per OPs contract], what is the difference?

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          #24
          Originally posted by pr1 View Post

          When I was a permie I had hotels and trains booked for me all the time without me getting (knowingly?) taxed on them, and I was pretty meticulous at checking my pay slips etc - if the destination is not the permanent workplace [as per OPs contract], what is the difference?
          HMRC's viewpoint - everyone has a permanent base if the company has a permanent office.

          Years ago I would have suggested your solution - nowadays I'm not sure it works...
          merely at clientco for the entertainment

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            #25
            I'd still ask them...

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              #26
              Originally posted by pr1 View Post
              I'd still ask them...
              Why? It doesn't solve the tax issue because - once again

              HMRC's viewpoint - everyone has a permanent base if the company has a permanent office.

              Were the client to be paying for it directly it is still something on which tax needs to be paid.
              merely at clientco for the entertainment

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                #27
                Just out of interest, this solution (getting client to book travel & accommodation) isn't actually possible in my situation. To explain why, I'd have to explain too much about the very specific situation within the company at the moment which would make it identifiable. Would've been possible a few years ago, not now.

                But anyway, as already covered, it doesn't actually solve the problem (although in my circumstances I guess it would hide it).

                Anyway by way of update - it's currently looking likely that following confirmation from both my hiring manager and the agent that my permanent workplace is my home, they're going to accept it. I shouldn't jinx it though as this was what they were indicating 'would be possible' today since when I know the agent has provided the confirmation (which is what they were waiting on). We'll see what happens tomorrow!

                Agree with Eek though, this isn't Paystream being idiots, they're being judiciously cautious because of where HMRC is on this. HMRC haven't completely slammed the door on this situation - if you add together a number of their pieces of guidance you can build a picture that says my specific situation is as simple as we all would ser it, and therefore tax relief is due - but it's damn near shut. And as soon as you read all their voluminous guidance on the subject of expenses with this specific scenario in mind it's clear that it's a 'hole' in the guidance. And I think that's because, viewed through a 2016 lens, pre-pandemic and with the then-recent changes to expenses regime in mind, they were probably trying very hard not to allow a route with a loophole...

                I'll update with the outcome. But I predict there'll be more people caught like this.

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