CIPP Survey on the review of Travel and Subsistence payments

15 August 2014

In response to the Office of Tax Simplification’s (OTS) January 2014 report on the tax treatment of employee benefits and expenses, the government announced in Budget 2014 that it intended to review the rules underlying the taxation of travel and subsistence expenses. The government has now launched the first stage of that review. It sits alongside the consultations on expenses and benefits and the broader call for evidence on remuneration launched on 18 June, both of which are intended to complement this work. The CIPP have launched a survey to inform this consultation.

The government intends to conduct the consultation in stages, the first two of which are outlined below:

Stage 1 - July 2014 - October 2014
In the first stage of the consultation the government intends to improve its understanding of the commercial realities of travel and subsistence payments. Amongst other issues, the government intends to explore the circumstances in which employers pay travel and subsistence expenses (whether tax relievable or not); how tax influences these decisions; and the other factors which influence commercial decision making in this area.

In this stage the government also intends to discuss the framework within which it will develop any new principles to underlying rules on travel and subsistence expenses. At this stage of the review the government is not considering the detail of possible rules themselves but instead this framework would provide parameters within which a new system of travel and subsistence rules could be designed. In particular the government wants to discuss what sort of payments should qualify for tax relief, who they should need to be paid by, to whom and in what manner – and whether tax relief for subsistence payments need be tied to the rules for travel.

At this stage the consultation will take the form of discussion groups with stakeholders, drawing out their views on the principles of travel and subsistence payments. The CIPP policy team will be attending one or more of these discussions and have created a survey to ensure that they are able to present your opinions at these sessions. You might find it useful before completing this survey to have read Chapter six of the OTS Review of employee benefits and expenses: second report.

The government intends to report on this stage of the review at the Autumn Statement 2014.


Stage 2 - Winter 2014 - Spring 2015
In the second stage of the review the government intends to establish a working group to assist in producing a new set of principles for a new travel and subsistence tax regime. These principles will be based upon the government’s findings from the first stage of the review.

The government intends to report on this stage of the review at Budget 2015.

We will keep you up to date as this review progresses, but in the meantime, we would be very grateful if you could spare 15 minutes to complete the survey on travel and subsistence payments. This is your chance to influence the design of a new framework for travel and subsistence payments. The survey will close on 29 August.