Pub managers across the land were downing pints of their favourite bitter
this week as HM Revenue & Customs abandoned plans to remove tax breaks
available to them on accommodation.
In most circumstances living accommodation provided to employees is viewed as
a benefit in kind and is thus liable to national insurance contributions. Pub
managers, however, have been exempt from this rule as it has always been
customary in the industry for their employers to provide them with lodgings.
HMRC had attempted to challenge this exemption on the grounds that this was
no longer the practice, but were blocked in their attempts to levy NICS on pub
managers by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers.
The association called in KPMG to help conduct a survey on the issue, which
found that 93% of respondent companies said they provided managers
accommodation, prompting HMRC to agree to keep the tax break in place.
‘Pub managers will be very relieved by this latest move as some of them were
facing huge tax bills – almost £25,000 a year for a higher rate taxpayer in
accommodation valued at the central London average rent,’ John Chaplin,
Director, Employment Taxes at KPMG said.
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