New hope in claiming tax relief on the course expenses of doctors in training

New hope in claiming tax relief on the course expenses of doctors in training

October 29th 2009 1:35 pm

general

Any tax adviser will be able to confirm on how notoriously difficult it is to claim tax relief for the cost of courses of hos ...

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Any tax adviser will be able to confirm on how notoriously difficult it is to claim tax relief for the cost of courses of hospital doctors/surgeons in training. The law is rigid and the resilience of HM Tax Inspector in denying relief can often result in fruitless prolonged exchanges of correspondence. Commonly, the tax inspector will deny relief on basis that the courses/ training are for enhancing qualifications and therefore not undertaken for the purpose of duties of employment. However, not all is quite lost. The recent case of HMRC v Banerjee (2009), illustrated the persistence of Dr Banerjee, a dermatology registrar, whose case was eventually heard in the High Court. The High Court decided in her favour, allowing tax relief for her costs of attending training courses, conferences and meetings. The judge, commented that Dr Banerjee's training was part of the job that she was paid to do as her post was essentially a training post.  Any benefit that the course added to Dr Banerjee's qualification was of secondary importance and not detrimental to her claim. Moving forward, this case now sets precedence for anyone who has similar circumstances. When the Tax Inspector denies tax relief you may now have your case to be reviewed by the First-tier Tribunal of HM Revenue & Customs. The downside, in our experience thus far, is that it still requires the taxpayer to be involved in a lengthy process and to be willing to argue their side as the Revenue Officer is not willing to accommodate this recent case and only a request for a review of case by the Tribunal may serve in our favour. We would be interested in hearing your experience on making a claim since the Banerjee decision.

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