RJMS Health Care Accountants

A change to travelling expenses for doctors and consultants
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Aug 12, 2013

The decision in the case of Dr Samad Samadian at the First Tier Tribunal in February this year stood accepted thinking about the deductibility of travel expenses for medical practitioners on it’s head.

It has been normal for accountants etc. to claim the costs of travel to and from a doctor’s home to private hospitals, where the operations, consultations, etc. were undertaken. Claims were also made for travel between the NHS hospitals where the doctor worked and the private hospital.

Claims in the past will have been made for the cost of travelling from the doctor’s home to the private hospital on the basis that the doctor has an office or similar accommodation in his or her home which enabled it to be argued that the home qualifies as a base from which the private practice is conducted. The journeys from home to private hospital would then qualify as business journeys because there was no non-business purpose in the travel between the home and the private hospital.

The principle established by the decision in the Samandian case is that all journeys made between home and private hospitals must breach the ‘wholly and exclusively rule’ because they have a ‘mixed object’ or ‘duality of purpose’, part business but part inescapably being to maintain a home location separate from the private hospitals.

The decision seems universally applicable irrespective of how much work is done from home, the length of the journey and the number of private hospitals attended.

In respect of this first Tier Tribunal decision, HMRC have generally accepted that an allowable business journey could be between private hospitals and other private practice destinations.

Dr Samandian has appealed against the decision and is taking his case to the Upper Tier Tribunal, so the First Tier Tribunal’s decision is not final.

So, with this in mind, and until the Upper Tier Tribunal makes a decision, it would be prudent to complete the 2012/2013 returns on the basis of the First Tier decision. The returns can be self-amended if the decision is overturned.

The RJMS Team

Proof they ran (part of) The Sheffield Half Marathon in 2013.

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