Monday, June 21, 2010

Very Annoying Indeed

Some things are just Very Annoying Indeed and this is one of them.

I work for various different universities. I generally have to fill in a form to claim the fee: and on top of this I claim travel expenses.

And that's exactly what they are. Expenses. What it's cost me to do a journey that I wouldn't otherwise be doing.

They pay different mileage rates and they're generally not very high - sometimes as low as 23p per mile. In the business world, mileage rates are higher - usually 40p per mile at least. It is to cover the cost of petrol, plus wear and tear on the car.

But hey, this is for education, and there isn't a lot of money about, so I'm prepared to accept the low mileage rate.

But then - - and this is the Very Very Annoying bit - - they TAX me on my EXPENSES! Money which I've had to pay out! Money which I've earned and already paid tax on once! Grrrrrr!

From time to time I've gone so far as to ring the Finances department and ask them "Why do you take tax off my expenses?" And the answer is a puzzled "That's what we do."

But finally I have found the answer and it is this - - deep breath now - -

"When lecture fees are taxable as employment income, any reimbursed travelling and subsistence expenses would normally be treated in the same way unless paid in respect of travel undertaken in the performance of the lecturer's duties. The term "in the performance of" means that the expenses must be incurred in actually carrying out the duties of employment. It is not sufficient that an expense is simply relevant to, or incurred in connection with, the duties of employment, or if the expense is to put the employee in a position to perform his or her duties. So, if a university reimburses an employed lecturer for the costs of travelling from home to the university the payment is chargeable to tax. This is because the journey is not in the actual performance of the lecturer's duties. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted from all fee payments and from the associated payments for travel and subsistence."

All clear now?

So if I'm booked to do a job in, say, the University of Normanton - and choose to do it, and have to travel there to do it, then they are jolly well going to tax me on my travelling expenses. Because they can.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jennyta said...

This is why I get extremely anxious when confronted with anything to do with tax matters, Daphne. I may need counselling for it. ;)

7:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure this is correct if your normal place of work is your own home, as I gather it is.
When you get up and leave your agency to do some work then you are indeed travelling as part of your work and not travelling to work. I would check this out if I were you.
Lucy

8:15 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

University of Normanton? Good heavens are they offering degrees in scrap metal sourcing, ferret breeding and bingo nowadays?

2:02 am  

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