The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has won a significant concession from tax officials on Overnight Allowances for lorry drivers.
It’s taken many months of negotiations with officials from HMRC after members angrily complained that newly imposed rules were confusing, unfair and were costing them money. At the heart of the row was an insistence from the tax officials that drivers must produce receipts to cover the exact cost of the Overnight Allowance they are paid to cover subsistence when they are sleeping in their cabs on long haul trips. Hauliers complained this was unfair and impractical given the nature of the lorry trade and historical agreements over the allowance stretching back 26 years.
HMRC has issued new guidance following pressure from the RHA which means drivers won’t have to produce receipts totalling the exact amount payable under the overnight allowance and that other means of recording expenses, such as digital photographs on a smartphone will be acceptable to the tax authorities. The factsheet is now available to assist hauliers to understand the new rules. In a couple of key areas relating to the retaining and checking of receipts HMRC have now accepted that a simpler, more streamlined approach is acceptable. The guidance is much clearer about how operators can comply with tax inspector checking requirements so the potential for error isless likely.
Commenting RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “This is a significant victory for the RHA’s campaign against this unnecessary piece of bureaucracy. HMRC have listened to our arguments, and although we still believe this is still too complex, we do now have a working factsheet that our members and HMRC advice staff will be able to understand so the new taxation regime can be more easily managed. Cutting red tape for busy hauliers battling to keep the wheels of the UK economy going at a tough time is to be welcomed.”