Government climbs down on Overnight Allowances
The RHA has won a significant concession from HMRC on overnight allowances for lorry drivers.
At the heart of the row was an insistence from tax officials that drivers must produce receipts to cover the exact cost of the overnight allowance they are paid to cover subsistence when they sleep in their cabs on long haul trips. Hauliers complained that this was unfair and impractical, given the nature of the lorry trade and historical agreements over the allowance stretching back 26 years.
Now HMRC has issued new guidance which means hauliers won’t have to produce receipts totalling the exact amount payable and that other means of recording expenses, such as digital photographs on a smartphone, will be acceptable. A fact sheet is available to help them understand the new rules. In a couple of key areas relating to the retaining and checking of receipts, HMRC has now accepted that a simpler, more streamlined approach is acceptable. The guidance is much clearer about how operators can comply with tax inspectors’ checking requirements, so the potential for errors is less.
“HMRC has listened to our arguments and, although we believe it is still too complex, we do now have a working factsheet that our members and HMRC advice staff will be able to understand, so the new taxation regime can be more easily managed,” RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said. “Cutting red tape for busy hauliers battling to keep the wheels of the UK economy going at a tough time is to be welcomed.”