Employment Income Manual – New and updated guidance pagesThursday, May 13th, 2010
HMRC has listed a number of changes and additions to the technical Employment Income Manual used by HMRC officers but made available for general use by advisers and employers. The new and amended pages include the following guidance.
Scale rate expenses: A useful Q&A page has been added to explain issues relating to the use of benchmark rates for day subsistence payments. In particular, is clarifies that, for employers to make use of the benchmark rates, they must apply for a dispensation to do so.
Checking expenses payments: Where employers have a dispensation permitting the use of benchmark or bespoke scale rate payments, regular checks are required to ensure that only allowable expenses are being reimbursed. The updated guidance lists the factors that should govern the form and regularity of such checks.
Termination payments on account of injury or disability: The revised pages explain circumstances where tax due on termination payments is not limited to £30,000, even if injury or disability is not the cause of the termination.
Cycle exemption and salary sacrifice schemes: The guidance has been updated to clarify the requirement for cycles and cyclist’s equipment to be made available for all employees, including those under the age of 18. HMRC accepts, however, that the exemption is not lost, for example, in the case of casual or temporary employees, zero-hours employees, and employees incapable of using a cycle. A cycle if viewed as being “made available” if the terms on which the cycle is provided are such that there would be an amount of benefit on which the employee would be taxable if there were no exemption available, that is enough to show that the benefit of a cycle is available to that employee.
Subsidised canteen meals: More situations are described where the tax exemption would not apply and the only situation where the use of an electronic card to obtain a subsidised meal would not breach the conditions for exemption is explained.
Trivial benefits: The examples of such benefits have been extended to include minor repairs to employer-provided cycles and seasonal flu jabs.
Lorry driver subsistence allowances: The nightly payment for the year ending 31 December 2010 has been added, although, at £30.75, it is unchanged from the previous year.
Working Rule Agreements: The rates of allowances in the Engineering Construction Industry and in respect of the Thermal Insulation Contractors Association have been increased.
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