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Accommodation - taxed?
#31
Talked to tax office today.. and letter is in post to me now.. arrives friday.. I will then pass this on to IFA who can talk with serious and I expect costly tax advisors (like Price Waterhouse Cooper)

we can only wait.. which is crap... but otherwise..........

"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."
Borekickers
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#32
Can anyone give example of how the new Customs and Revenue ruling is going to work in practice? I can see that accomodation provided in the past may attract a tax liability i.e a bill, but how will ongoing situtions apply?

Will archaeologists currently in employer-provided accomodation start to get less money in their pay packet as they pay more tax?

Could the provision of accommodation as a taxable benefit take the salaries of liable ex-students to a level where they may have to make increased student loan repayments?

If an archaeologist is on family credits or similar, could the cost of accomodation be 'added' to their income and push them out of the benefit window?

Should IFA members include the cost of provided accommodation when calculating their income based IFA membership fees?

This is all just a mess.......I'm going off to get drunk and listen to Richard Hawley.

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#33
A mess is indeed the word... I have had the letter from the Tax.. and passed it on to the IFA on Thursday afternoon.

I hope to keep up with events.... and will pass on what I can. As you will all realise this is delicate and far reaching.. from the individuals currently hit by a bill to companies that carry this practice out.

"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."
Borekickers
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#34
Would you advise staying away from away jobs until this is sorted out? Have just left last position to temp in accounts but am keen to return to the fold.
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#35
For me to advise would be wrong. For people to be aware - is better. IF you are going on away jobs.. think about what you are getting for accomodation (how much does it cost.. and put aside a 20% - the worst that happens is you are ready... the best is you have a nest egg) If the company is an RAO, get them to talk to the IFA... Kate Geary is dealing with this. (one hard working person!)

So say accomodation is being given at 60 quid a week... for example... then keep 12 quid back - the company should also be aware - just in case. Currently I have passed all the info to the IFA.. to ensure that there is no 'confusion' of purpose. It turns out that I did quite well... but used logic and common sense as well as knowledge of how it works for us... and there is still the foot in the door, that this is a (to quote the Inland Revenue) 'a universal custom for accomodation on such employement... and it can be demonstrated statistically and seen as universally known'

This is ongoing, and the IFA have agreed to keep me informed... though I am sure you understand that this is such a delicate matter, that too much info may be worse than nothing at all. I promise to let people know everything that I can.

but...

A) be aware
B) let the company know
C) know that the IFA are working on this.

"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."
Borekickers
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#36
I agree with David that there might still be some hope here that Customs and Revenue could decide that this is a long standing customary arrangment and amend their recent decision. Fingers crossed.

I thought BAJRites might be interested in how this matter is dealt with here in Norway (or at least with the University of Oslo). For every night that we are away from Oslo central on field work we are entitled to an accomodation allowance (currently about ?34 per night). That allowance is paid retrospectively with our salary and is taxed (but at a lower rate than normal wages).

With the allowance the individual archaeologist pays for their own accomodation. If it works out cheaper per night than the allowance, you keep the difference. If it is more than the allowance, you make up the difference. We have had archaeologists who decide to spend their allowance living on camping sites whilst others have booked into the best available hotel. But it is at least a clear and understandable system and one which if adopted in UK archaeology would work. (I should add we also get a separate meal allowance which an individual can also decide to spend as little of or as much as they wish)


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#37
Quote:quote:Originally posted by kevin wooldridge


I thought BAJRites might be interested in how this matter is dealt with here in Norway (or at least with the University of Oslo). For every night that we are away from Oslo central on field work we are entitled to an accomodation allowance (currently about ?34 per night). That allowance is paid retrospectively with our salary and is taxed (but at a lower rate than normal wages).

With the allowance the individual archaeologist pays for their own accomodation. If it works out cheaper per night than the allowance, you keep the difference. If it is more than the allowance, you make up the difference. We have had archaeologists who decide to spend their allowance living on camping sites whilst others have booked into the best available hotel. But it is at least a clear and understandable system and one which if adopted in UK archaeology would work. (I should add we also get a separate meal allowance which an individual can also decide to spend as little of or as much as they wish)

There are a number of things that have led to the development of the 'away job' system that operates here. These are some, I'm sure there are many more!

1. if you are booking your own accomodation it is often difficult to find something appropriate/affordable on your own. (and if you're sharing with other people, cooking for yourself is easier!)
2. Many people don't have enough up front money to pay for accomodation and then claim it back.
3. it is much safer for teams to be in the same accomodation rather than scattered around.
4. It is more effective for the company to have people together, so they can be picked up and taken to site in one vehicle in one go.
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#38
Good points there... will ensure that the IFA see them

"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."
Borekickers
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#39
Yes, excellent points oldgirl, espcially the one about the vehicles. If you're organising your own acommodation it can really only work if you've got your own car. However, the last pipeline that I was on, the construction people were working under very similar rules to what Kevin describes in Norway. Lots of people bought caravans, which paid for themselves in a matter of weeks. If they found somewhere to lodge, or were in a campsite they got X amount extra per diem in their salary, and if they came in from home, they got a milage allowance. Not entirely sure what got taxed and what didn't. And then there is that problem of what to do with the caravan after the job....

I'd rather continue with the longstanding and customary arrangement that archaeology has got.
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#40
longstanding and customary arrangement

those are the words which are oft repeated... and I hope will filter into the conciousness of the Inland Revenue..



"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."
Borekickers
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