HMRC giving wrong expenses advice

Many tax professionals consider that current tax and employment legislation is too complicated and it is not surprising that people are confused.

The latest evidence has come from public sector contractors operating through their own limited companies. They have been mistakenly told by HMRC call centre staff that they are entitled to key expenses such as travel and subsistence, even though they are subject to IR35 and Supervision, Direction and Control. There is concern that HMRC is giving out wrong information because the staff in call centres are unable to understand the legislation and therefore find it difficult to answer questions and deal with queries.

Contractors who have contacted HMRC about expenses are being advised to take independent advice. As one tax professional pointed out, the majority of contractors just want to get on with their jobs, and inaccurate information means they are forced to spend longer sorting out their financial planning.