Business Travel

Findings of recent tax case – Samadian V RCC

Business Travel Case

Whether an expense is an allowable deduction for tax purposes is dependent both on the tax legislation, but perhaps even more importantly by how this legislation is interpreted by the Courts.

In January 2014 the decision in a case regarding a doctor’s travel expenses was released.

The Samadian case relates to travel expenses and whether these were incurred ‘wholly and exclusively’ for the purposes of the business.

Prior to this decision being released there was a degree of uncertainty regarding which journeys undertaken in the course of business were allowable for tax purposes.

It has been a long established rule that any journeys from a person’s home to a permanent place of work are not allowable expenses for tax purposes.   Many medical professionals, and among them Dr Samadian, however, have more complex travel arrangements.  We have summarised the findings of the Samadian case above in a picture format to make it easier to follow.

Dr Samadian is employed full-time by the NHS at two hospitals in South London (St Helier and Nelson).  In addition, he holds weekly out-patient sessions at two private hospitals (St Anthony’s and Parkside) and has private patients admitted to St Anthony’s where he performs ward rounds six days a week.  He has a dedicated office at his home, where he keeps his private patient records as well as his business records, his medical equipment, prescription pads and his medical reference books.

Findings:

  • Home to private hospital travel – there was ruled to be a dual purpose to Dr Samadian’ s travel between his home and private hospitals and therefore these travel expenses are not allowable.
  • Home to place of employment – the court confirmed that this travel had a non-business purpose (ie to maintain his employment) and therefore this travel is not allowable.
  • The court also found that the journey between his place of employment and private hospitals was not allowable.
  • Travel between the two private hospitals was found to be allowable.
  • Travel between the private hospitals and another care location (eg the patient’s home) is allowable.
  • Travel between the home office and another care location is also allowable travel.