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Overnight allowances: drivers to photograph meals to prove expenses

Nov 28, 2017
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has won a significant concession from tax officials on overnight allowances for lorry drivers.

At the heart of the row was an insistence by 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 historical agreements over allowances 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.

Commenting, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said, “This is a significant victory for the RHA’s campaign against this unnecessary piece of bureaucracy. HMRC has listened to our arguments and although we 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.”

Editor's comment: What a disgrace!

We all know HMRC needs to raise more revenue, but asking lorry drivers to photograph their dinners to justify the already pitiful allowance they’re given to sustain themselves on long-haul trips is degrading and an insult to the profession. Even in these pre-Brexit days, the haulage industry says we need at least another 40,000 drivers to meet the current need and moves like this will do nothing to encourage new people to become the drivers of the future.

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