There was little information
within the Autumn Statement ‘blue book’ today as to how HMRC will respond to
the recent consultation on reforming tax reliefs on travel and subsistence
expenses to a temporary place of work, save that the test for personal service
companies will be whether they are caught by IR35.
This means that all other
employment intermediaries- umbrella companies and agencies supplying
individuals who are currently benefitting from those reliefs- are likely to
have to wait until draft legislation is published on 9 December 2015 before it
is clear what action, if any, can be taken and how any new regime would work.
The ARC responded to the
original consultation in the summer and its concern remains, namely that the
withdrawal of these reliefs could have the potential to cause significant
damage to the UK’s flexible work-force. Whilst it acknowledges that the
Exchequer has to achieve savings, HM Treasury should also consider retaining
measures that ensure agency work remains an attractive option to work seekers.