HMRC to review rules on doctors' travel expenses

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is looking to clamp down on travel and subsistence claims in the medical profession, according to accountants.

Kingston Smith LLP accountants warn that HMRC is looking to ‘apply certain principles' when deciding what is an acceptable travel expense for tax purposes.

It comes soon after HMRC announced it was offering a tax amnesty for doctors who may have underpaid tax. As part of the Tax Health Plan, HMRC will be scrutinising up to 20 years' worth of tax records where it claims to have 'specific intelligence' of doctors having underpaid.

A spokeswoman for Kingston Smith LLP said it was unclear whether HMRC would retrospectively apply these principles when they scrutinise doctors' tax records.

‘The fact that HMRC is looking at this area suggests it was something they allowed in the past that they wish to clamp down on.

‘Whether it will or will not apply this retrospectively is questionable.'

Under the updated HMRC guidance, travel from home to a private or NHS clinic (and vice versa) is not allowable and is, in effect, viewed as home to work travel. Travel from an NHS appointment to a private clinic (or vice versa) is not allowable as the location of the NHS work is tantamount to home.

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