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The existence of HMRC rules around subsistence and accommodation when working away from home are well know, even if people often need to check the detail.

A question that arises sometimes is “Can I claim for a house rent/flat rent whilst I am working away from home, rather than hotel or B&B?”

The answer is maybe.  It all depends on the facts, and sometimes differing opinion of tax payer v HMRC – remember tax is often not about what statute says so much as interpreting statute to a specific situation.

In the recent case of T Healy an actor was denied relief for his flat whilst working away from home as he wanted a spare room.

Our friends at Ross Martin comment further:

The case on actors’ accommodation, Tim Healy v HMRC has been decided. The actor was unsuccessful in claiming tax relief for renting a flat when working away from home; his admission that he wanted a spare room for guests meant that the expense was not “wholly and exclusively incurred” for the purpose of his business. Don’t all despair, these cases are all decided on their individual circumstances. The tribunal’s decision does not rule out the fact that in other cases tax relief might be obtained for the cost of renting a flat just as it can be obtained on the cost of a hotel or other accommodation.

Read the full article here.

As always the devil is in the detail.  I suspect had Mr Healey said “I need a spare room to store all my costumes in daahhlling, and I never have friends to stay, but if one slept over after a gin soaked luvvies night it would be on the sofa” he would have been OK.