24 mth rule - same distance travelled 24 mth rule - same distance travelled
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default 24 mth rule - same distance travelled

    Hi all

    Before anyone suggests asking my accountant, this stems from their advice

    I'm moving offices and clients and the new contract takes me over 24 mths so now subject to the temporary workplace rules.

    The new office is about 20 mins away from the old one, and my accountant says that travel to the new place will be allowed. I'm not so sure, so good to get the thoughts of those who have asked other accountants or been through something similar yourselves.

    Incidentally, the journey time from home to the old office is the same as home to new (2 hrs), but does that even matter? If so, what would happen if I moved clients/offices to somewhere that was still 2 hours but in the opposite direction?

    Thanks in advance for anyone who can spare a few mins to comment.

  2. #2

    Should post faster


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    To clarify are you moving to a new office with your clients (as in the clients are moving offices) or you are moving offices AND clients (as in a new contract with a new client at a new office ).

    To be honest either way it comes down to geographical location and how risk averse you want to be.

    Some would say that 20min away is nowhere near enough of a distance to be counted as a new geographical location and thus 'reset' the 24 months

    Others would say it is.

    If there is no significant change to your travel in terms of cost/time/route than I would be inclined to say the 24month rule would still apply...but thats just me personally.

  3. #3

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    HMRC are wonderfully wooly about such things, so it's going to come down to judgement and risk tolerence.

    This is the semi-official line (You'd need to dig up and interpret the legislation and case law otherwise):

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-man...anual/eim32280

    An employee may change his or her workplace without that change having any substantial effect on his or her journey to work. If a change of workplace does not have any substantial effect on the employee’s journey, or the expense of that journey, the change is ignored for the purposes of

    .......

    In practice you should recognise the change of workplace in all cases except where the change has made no significant difference to the commuting journey.
    And so the question comes down to - has your journey changed significantly? Same time and distance but opposite direction is a totally different journey and absolutely a new workplace. Moving to a building on the same business park - same workplace for these rules. Everything in between is a judgement call.

    That said, my reading of that last paragraph implies that HMRC will only look at the most extreme examples, but it depends entirely on your commute. If you're doing the same 20 mile journey and only changing the last mile or two then that's going to be pushing the definition of "significant"

  4. #4

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    IMO there is no way a 20 minute change is significant. Christ, I've been at clients where a change in building on a huge site adds 20 mins to journey.
    Yes 24 month rule is wooly... But 20 minutes? No way.
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  5. #5

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    Thanks all.

    The risk aspect is the reason why I'm inclined not to claim, as much as I'd love to!

    Both offices are pretty much the same distance from home in the same direction. It's just the locations are twenty mins away from each other.

    It's for a very large client who deals with 000's consultants and consultancy companies so same end client but via different agencies. I'm changing agencies to take up a new contract with a different area of the end client. But as you say, that probably doesn't matter too much vs. geographical location.

    I'll probably try and work from home more and reduce my travel costs instead.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    IMO there is no way a 20 minute change is significant. Christ, I've been at clients where a change in building on a huge site adds 20 mins to journey.
    Yes 24 month rule is wooly... But 20 minutes? No way.
    See, I disagree with that. 20 minutes is 1/3 of a 60 minute commute, so I would consider that significant. That's one end of a city to the other - I'd probably claim it TBH.

    But of course that's the problem with words like "significant"
    Last edited by vwdan; 14th September 2018 at 11:30.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by vwdan View Post
    See, I disagree with that. 20 minutes is 1/3 of a 60 minute commute, so I would consider that significant. That's one end of a city to the other - I'd probably claim it TBH.

    But of course that's the problem with words like "significant"
    One end to a city is not a change in geographical location. You are still in x city so how can that reset the clock? If I work 10 mins from one client and the next journey is double that, a whole extra 10 mins. Does that reset the clock. There has to be a level of common sense applied here.

    Also bear in mind the OP's comment.

    Incidentally, the journey time from home to the old office is the same as home to new (2 hrs)
    And if 20 minutes resets the clock what on earth doesn't??

    Absolutely black and white this one.
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  8. #8

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    Thanks folks.

    I'll go with not claiming and assume my accountant is horribly misinformed or has a very relaxed approach to risk management.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnerg81 View Post
    Thanks folks.

    I'll go with not claiming and assume my accountant is horribly misinformed or has a very relaxed approach to risk management.
    Have you signed the contract? Could you not negotiate the rate? Possibly shave off some of the agents commission if you've been there that long? If you are direct push the client for a little more to cover it?
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  10. #10

    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

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    You're being a bit vague about things.
    1. Distance wise, not time, how far apart are the two offices - not the entrance to their car parks, etc, but the offices?
    2. Are you using public transport to get there?
    3. Have you checked your contract with the previous agent does not have a lock-in clause to prevent you going to the same client through another agency?
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