Q. Having completed the dreaded online HMRC IR35 test my result was inconclusive. Having completed the test a number of times it would seem to be that the inconclusive result hinges on a single question namely “What does the worker have to provide for this engagement that they can’t claim as an expense from the end client or an agency?” My query is in relation to the following option – “Other expenses – including significant travel or accommodation costs (for work, not commuting) or paying for a business premises outside of the worker’s home.”
My business address is at my home address. Each week I travel to London from Bristol for 3 days to attend meetings it is only one trip per week – not a commute. Ticking the ‘Other expenses” option above returns an inconclusive HMRC result so I’m unsure as to how to proceed. Also my accountant has stated that from 06th April 2017 you cannot claim for travel and subsistence that relates to travelling from home to work, i.e. ordinary commuting. This is regardless of the 24 month/40% rule. However I would argue that a commute is daily travel. Is he correct?
A. If you are travelling once a week from Bristol to London (return) for work purposes and the cost of this amounts to a couple of hundred pounds a month then it can be argued that this constitutes a significant expense (there is no official guidance on what would constitute “significant”) and you would be able to tick that box, which would then lead to a inconclusive result.
It’s difficult to say precisely why you’ve landed on that point, but generally speaking an inconclusive result would indicate that there are potential IR35 related issues earlier in the Employment Status Service Tool’s process which causes doubt. It would likely be worth your while getting in touch with us on 0116 2690992 so we can talk through your specific circumstances to try and get to the bottom of your result.
As another point in respects to the ordinary home to work commuting, you are still able to claim for this after 6th April 2016, but it is tied into your IR35 status for Ltd contractors. If you are determined to be inside of IR35 you cannot claim travel and subsistence expenses for home to work commuting. If you’re outside of IR35 you can continue to claim expenses as you have always done.