Travel and tax within the NHS

Notes which i recently prepared for one of our clients in the medical world.

Travel expenses – what can be claimed and how it works. Reference within the NHS

Travel to a temporary workplace is allowable and you can claim

45p a mile up to 10000 miles

25p a mile thereafter.

Also ancillary costs such as parking.

The question is what is a temporary workplace.

Key test 1. Place of employment where you expect to work for 24 months or less
Key test 2. Or it takes up less than 40% of your working time. E.g. Say one day a week.

What it is not

It cannot be your only place of work. So for instance if you accepted a 6 month contract at another hospital then that is a new place of work and a new contract – this is not temporary for tax.It is a permanent workplace which only lasts for 6 months.

Examples within the NHS which are relevant.

  1. Employed at one hospital on a permanent basis and then asked to cover 6 months at a satellite hospital whilst remaining in the same employment. This 6 month period should be classed as temporary.
  2. If there was a new contract with a new employer for the satellite site then this is not classed as temporary. This is why a lot of trainee GPs cannot recover their rotation travel.
  3. It cannot apply to travel incentives to take up a new position however short.
  4. It cannot work for bank work at another hospital if that means you have a second employer. So for instance you are employed at Kings but do bank work at Royal Surrey. In this case you would have 2 employers one is full time, one is part time but neither are temporary.
  5. However in example 4 if the bank work was at a satellite site for Kings ie you were paid for both jobs on the same payslip or two payslips but the same employer reference then the bank work would be temporary.

How will your employer treat the travel?

It depends. Some will recognise that the travel is allowable and will either not tax the payments when they reimburse the mileage or they will tax the excess over 45p a mile. You then have the opportunity to reclaim the element which they have not paid you. For instance they pay 24p a mile then you can reclaim another 21p a mile to make up the full 45p. With these payments they often show with the code TASNT on the payslip.

Sometimes the hospital will wither say they think it is not allowable or they do not want the risk of getting it wrong. So they tax all the payment and leave it to you to claim the fulle 45p a mile. These often show with the NP coding.

References

The core legislation. Here

And whilst the legislation has just a couple of pages the HMRC booklet (basically their views) has some 77 pages.

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