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Employer provided living accommodation - Call for evidence

9th December 2015

The Government has today published its call for evidence to address a number of issues identified by the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS”) during the reviews of the relevant tax and National Insurance rules conducted in 2014.

The main findings identified by the OTS included:

  • A lack of clarity regarding the rules associated with the provision of living accommodation;     
  • The basis upon which exemptions are available is outdated;     
  • Exemptions are inconsistently applied and are not representative of newer professions or changing roles within professions where accommodation has historically been provided;     
  • Calculating the benefit in kind charge is inherently difficult and is dependent upon whether the accommodation is owned or rented by the employer; and     
  • The situation is further complicated by the differing variables upon which the taxable value of any accommodation provided is based.     

The comments above may sound familiar to any employer who provides accommodation to their employees and is aware of the challenges which have previously been raised by HM Revenue & Customs.

Call for Evidence
The Government is calling for evidence based upon three themes:

  • Why is the accommodation provided to employees?
  • What type of accommodation is provided?
  • Do any jobs/roles require accommodation to be provided?

The Government is seeking responses based upon 16 core questions. The evidence provided in response to those questions will be used to determine whether any change in the legislation is required. 

Our expectation is that there will be a fundamental change and the evidence presented will help formulate the new legislation. The Government has not given any indication as to when any new legislation will come into effect. 

haysmacintyre will be contacting clients and other interested parties with the intention of preparing a detailed submission to the Government’s “Call for evidence”. Nick Bustin, our Director of Employment Tax will be co-ordinating our response. If you would like to contribute to the response, please contact Nick on 020 7969 5578 or via email nbustin@haysmacintyre.com.

Alternatively, please feel free to speak with your usual haysmacintyre contact.

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