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Umbrella Workers – Expense Guidelines

This document sets out the expenses policy applicable to employees of Champion Contract Services Limited. The policy has been produced in line with legislation and HMRC guidance to ensure that all expenses processed are eligible for tax relief.

Call 0161 703 2549 or email info@championcontractors.co.uk

Can I claim my Travel & Subsistence (T&S) expenses?

To be able to claim any expenses you will need to be able to demonstrate that you are not considered to be under Supervision, Direction or Control (SDC) of any person (working for the client or agency) in the manner in which you undertake the assignment.

To assist you to clarify your SDC status, Champion Contractors have developed a robust assessment process and if it is your intention to claim expenses while using our Plus Pay Service, then you will be issued with an online assessment form to complete as soon as your assignment has commenced. 

How do I know if I can claim expenses?

Once we have reviewed your completed SDC assessment form, we will communicate the result to you or request further information via email. This will occur within 48 hours of you submitting the information to Champion. Note - you will remain in the Prime Pay Service until your SDC status has been established.

If we conclude that you are not subject to SDC then you will be eligible to claim tax relief on your expenses.  Champion will issue you with a full guidance pack to confirm your entitlements – we will also verify the process that we need you to follow when claiming.

If your working practices change during the course of your assignment, we ask you to immediately contact Champion as this will enable us to help you reassess your SDC status.

You will also be required to complete an SDC assessment for each and every assignment that you carry out as a Champion worker.

How will I claim my expenses?

To claim expenses you must remember to complete the ‘Expense Claim Form’ on a weekly basis and attach all necessary receipts. Champion will then process and validate legitimate expenses and contact you if we require any further details.

For expenses to be processed in timely manner, all forms and receipts need to be submitted to Champion at least 48 hours before the payment is due to be made to you. An example of the expense deadline for a Friday payment; would mean submitting expense claims no later than 14:00 on the Wednesday before payment is due.

How will my expenses be paid?

New rules outlined in the Finance Acts of 2015 and 2016 significantly changed the way that workers would receive tax relief on their expenses.

Prior to the new rules, ALL expense claims would have been offset against your weekly/monthly income.  As of April 2016 however, the only expense claims that can reduce the amount of your weekly/monthly taxable salary are mileage, parking expenses, overnight allowances and attendance at work related training courses.

All other expense claim will be stored by Champion until they can be documented on an annual self-assessment tax return that we can compile/submit to HMRC at your request.

What am I entitled to claim?

Allowable expenses include:

  • Mileage – private vehicles & hire cars
  • Other travel costs
  • Overnight accommodation and subsistence
  • Meal allowances
  • Business telephone calls
  • Business entertainment
  • Eye tests
  • Professional subscriptions
  • Tools and protective clothing
  • Stationery, post, fax costs etc
  • Training
  • Pension contributions (to HMRC approved schemes)
  • Reimbursable expenses

THIS FOLLOWING GUIDANCE IS FOR WORKERS WHO ARE NOT SUBJECT TO SDC

MILEAGE

Mileage costs incurred wholly and exclusively necessary in the course of business are tax deductible.

Mileage involved in travelling to and from client sites or temporary workplaces can be claimed but this is subject to certain criteria.

HMRC declares that “a workplace is not a temporary workplace if the employee can expect to work there in a continuous period of work lasting 24 months or more.”

If the contract is extended or is expected to be extended beyond 24 months, no further travel to and from the work site is allowable from the date of the extension as the work site would no longer qualify as temporary base.

Also, HMRC states that “a workplace is not a temporary workplace if the employee can expect to work there in a continuous period of working lasting for all or almost all of the likely duration of the employment.” If you only intend to work on one assignment whilst employed through Champion, then you will not be able to claim any of your expenses.

There is an exception to the above but this is only relevant if you spend 40% or less of your time at a workplace.  If this is the case, all expenses incurred in travelling to and from that site are allowed, regardless of the temporary worksite rule.  The claim may continue indefinitely for as long as your circumstances continue to satisfy the 40% rule.

Note - If you decide and then communicate that a particular piece of work will be your final assignment as a Champion employee, then that workplace will no longer be classed as a temporary workplace. Thereafter, Champion are not allowed to process any further travel and subsistence expenses claims on your behalf.

If you are eligible to claim travel and subsistence expenses you may submit a claim for the following expenses:

PRIVATE VEHICLES

You may claim a cost per mile for allowable business journeys in your own vehicle.  Mileage rates (approved by HMRC) are as follows:

Vehicle Type Up to 10,000 miles Over 10,000 miles
Car 45p per mile 25p per mile
Motorcycle 24p per mile 24p per mile
Bicycle 20p per mile 20p per mile

Valid VAT receipts for fuel are required and must be submitted along with all claims.  All relevant claims will be processed by Champion when they are received and the tax relief benefit will then be calculated and applied to your next available payment.

Note – the associated costs (e.g. road tax or servicing) of using a private vehicle are already factored into the mileage rates detailed above.

HIRE CARS

The cost of a short-term hire car together with the actual cost of fuel is allowable, but only where the use of the hire car is proven to be necessary to the performance of your duties.

Fuel claims must solely relate to business trips.

Note - unlike general mileage claims, these costs can only be claimed via the submission of a P87 or self-assessment tax return.

Long term hire or lease of a vehicle is not an allowable expense.

OTHER TRAVEL COSTS

Expense claims can be made against air, train, bus, taxi and sea going travel fares incurred in the course of performing work.

Road tolls, parking costs and congestion charges can also be claimed. It is not however permitted to make claims for speeding fines, fixed penalties or parking tickets.

All claims must be supported by original receipts and any expenses incurred in foreign currency should be converted to sterling (confirming the conversion rate) when completing your expense claim.

Any tax relief on miscellaneous travel costs should be reclaimed on an annual basis via the submission of a P87 or self-assessment tax return.

OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION & SUBSISTENCE

The cost of being away from home while on business is tax deductible but all costs must be reasonable. Original receipts must be kept to support expense claims.

Tax relief on the cost of renting and maintaining a rental property may also be allowable, provided that the use of the property is required for the purpose of the assignment and you are also maintaining a property elsewhere within the UK to which you are regularly returning.

You are only able to claim for the costs associated with the assignment and therefore you cannot claim for periods within which the assignment does not require your services (e.g. weekends).  In these circumstances it will be necessary for you to provide a split of the private and business usage and claim only tax relief for the business use.

Note - expensive claims in respect of hotels (e.g. 5 star accommodation) and meals may be challenged by HMRC and could incur a benefit in kind charge if they are deemed to be unreasonable.

SUBSISTENCE – OVERNIGHT TRIPS

You may be able to claim tax relief on the actual cost of any food and drink incurred in the course of the qualifying journey involving an overnight stay on your self-assessment tax return.  Please note that you can only claim food and drink if it has been purchased after the journey commenced.  You are not able to claim for the cost of preparing a packed lunch on your self-assessment tax return.

If you have dinner with other colleagues then you can only claim for costs that relate to you and these costs would be claimed back on your self-assessment tax return.  Similarly, reasonable costs of alcoholic beverages with a meal may be included on your self-assessment tax return.

Where you incur the cost of a meal overseas, appropriate identification and explanation of the receipts must be provided in English.

If you are staying overnight while either away on business or on work-related training you are able to claim an Incidental Overnight Expense Allowance. This is to cover the costs of personal phone calls, laundry, newspaper etc. These claims must be supported by receipts.

There are two Incidental Overnight Expenses Allowance rates - £5 per night in the UK and £10 per night overseas (including Eire). 

Please note that these allowances can only be claimed in relation to an overnight stay so if you travel on a business trip in the UK for 5 days with 4 overnight stays then £20 can be claimed). These amounts will be included in your payroll.

Any tax relief on overnight accommodation/subsistence expenses should be reclaimed on an annual basis via submission of a P87 or self-assessment tax return.

MEAL ALLOWANCES

If you incur the cost of food and drink during travel to and from a temporary worksite you may claim tax relief on the actual costs incurred via your self-assessment tax return, however you will need to provide receipts.

BUSINESS TELEPHONE CALLS

Claims can be submitted to cover the cost of business calls made from landlines and/or mobile telephones. No claims are allowed in respect of line rental charges. If the phone is used for a mixture of business and personal calls, you can only claim tax relief on costs pertaining to the business calls. Please provide an itemised bill or analysis of calls made (if an itemised bill cannot be obtained e.g. for a mobile top up) with your expense form.

Any tax relief will be reclaimed on an annual basis via submission of a P87 or self-assessment tax return.

BUSINESS ENTERTAINMENT

You cannot claim tax relief for the cost of entertaining clients, colleagues, friends or family.

EYE TESTS (FOR VDU USERS)

An annual claim can be submitted to cover an eye test. However, this allowance can only be claimed by individuals required to work at computer screens for extended periods.

If glasses are required, they would need to be 100% for screen use as above and we will need an optician’s letter to confirm this is the case.

An original receipt from a qualified Optician must support expense claims. These costs would be processed with your payroll.

PROFESSIONAL SUBSCRIPTIONS

You are able to claim tax relief on the cost of the annual subscriptions paid to professional bodies on your self-assessment tax return. The professional body has to be on the HMRC approved list (link below) to be able to claim:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/professional-bodies-approved-for-tax-relief-list-3

Please note, if you have previously asked HMRC to include an allowance in your tax code for this expense, you must ensure that you DO NOT claim it again on your self-assessment tax return.

TOOLS AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

You are able to claim tax relief on the cost of tools and equipment however the cost has be £200 or less. These expenses must be wholly necessary to your role i.e. all employees undertaking the role must be required to purchase the tools and equipment.

You may claim tax relief on the cost of replacement protective clothing and safety equipment e.g. boots, hard hats, if these are necessary to do your job. These claims will be submitted on your self-assessment tax return along with any costs for cleaning the protective clothing.

STATIONERY, POSTAGE, FAX ETC.

It is possible to claim tax relief on the cost of stationery, postage, sending and receiving faxes, printing, photocopying etc. if these are wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of your duties. This cost is claimed via your self-assessment tax return.

TRAINING

Training costs are allowable only to the extent where the expense is an integral part of the duties of employment – these will be reimbursed to you through our payroll.

PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS  (to HMRC approved schemes)

Tax relief can also be achieved by making gross contributions into HMRC approved pension schemes.

Tax relief will be processed and applied on either a weekly/monthly basis at the time the pension contributions are made. For further information regarding this then please email info@championcontractors.co.uk

REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES

These are the costs that you incur on behalf of your client, such as travelling to another client office, which are then paid back to you via your agency.

Note - if the agency or client includes the reimbursement of any expenses in payments made to Champion, you must provide a copy of the agency or client expense form along with all VAT receipts before these expenses can be paid to you. To prevent any delay in paying your reimbursable expenses, and to ensure you receive the full VAT entitlement, please supply this information at the same time it is submitted to your agency or client.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Tax relief can only be obtained through Champion on expenses that:

  • are paid to you as an employee from Champion Contract Services Limited
  • are paid only from the funds you generate whilst working through Champion Contract Services Limited
  • relate to mileage, parking, training or the overnight allowance and meet the criteria explained in this expenses policy document

An amount equivalent to your income tax rate can be reclaimed on all other expenses incurred wholly, exclusively and necessary in the performance of your employment duties via the self-assessment tax return process at the end of each tax year.

For further information and guidance, please contact Champion on 0161 703 2549