The Inland Revenue is refusing to allow companies and staff to offset travel and hotel costs caused by the recent rail chaos against their tax bills.
Its hardline stance was revealed yesterday after a request from Ernst & Young to widen an extra statutory concession – number A58 – which waives the rule that staff’s commuting costs paid for by an employer are a taxable benefit.
However, according to the strict letter of the law, this concession only applies to disruption resulting from industrial action.
E&Y argued that the rail chaos during October and November was beyond the ‘acceptable’ levels of disruption experienced on public transport.
But the Revenue argued that broadening the concession would be ‘a significant extension and would involve difficulties in terms of framing the qualifying conditions’.
E&Y’s Alistair Kendrick said: ‘Companies were up against it, needed their staff at work and now face a large tax bill. I’m sure the Revenue can come up with a workable solution.’