31 May 2024

With speculation over and the next general election coming sooner than many thought, it is time to consider what effect it will have on the world of payroll.

One of the considerations for some payroll professionals is the tax treatment of returning officers and their staff for polling stations and the councils running them.

Electoral staff will be considered to be casual workers and will accrue holiday in the normal way. When paying fees and holiday pay to individuals, the amounts are subject to tax, but not Class 1 NICs.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Employment Income Manual, EIM69800, provides guidance on special arrangements for the taxation of fees received for duties performed at parliamentary and local elections.

Electoral duties include those of:

  • returning officers and their deputies
  • acting returning officers and their deputies
  • presiding officers
  • polling clerks
  • counting assistants and
  • all others engaged in the conduct of these elections or referenda.

The arrangements do not apply to payments to electoral registration officers and their staffs for compiling the electoral register

Further information is available on the tax treatment of electoral registration officers, at EIM61300 onwards.

If further guidance and instruction is needed, we would first recommend that you seek clarity within your local council, as additional guidance may be available.