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Taxation Law Problem Question

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From 2008, A is employed as a foreman carpenter by B Ltd, an Oxford firm that specialises in restoring period properties in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. A, who lives in Witney (12 miles from Oxford, and 10 miles from the Gloucestershire border) is required to work at B's head office in Oxford, to supervise carpentry work at any property that is being renovated, and when he is not so engaged , to work as a carpenter. He is regularly telephoned at home by his employer to advise him where he should go for his next assignment, and to tell him what needs to be done. A, thereafter, often makes telephone calls from home to other employees of B Ltd, as well as to their suppliers and to other sub-contractors. A provides his own transport , a small van. In addition to his basic salary of £2,500 per month , A receives an annual allowance of
£1000 because he is a member of the Federation of Master Carpenters. He is paid a mileage allowance of 40 pence per mile for journeys between the Oxford office and the sites he visits. He is paid this rate (calculated as starting from Oxford) even on journeys, for example to Gloucestershire, which begin from home and involve a lower mileage. He also receives occasional cash gifts from the owners of houses where he has worked; and one grateful owner, O, allowed A to use O's gite in France for a week, free of charge. At the last minute, A was unable to go, but his wife and her sister went instead.

A incurs the following expenditure: (a)

provision and replacement of his own tools (on average £300 p.a .)

(b)

membership of the Federation of Master Carpenters (£100 subscription )

(c) p.a.)

provision of carpentry overalls , which he wears only at work (average cost £100

(d) purchase of Country Houses, a magazine which contains features about period houses, and which A regards as essential for his work (subscription cost £200 p.a.)

Advise A on his tax liability in respect of the above for the tax year 2010-11. Would your answer be different if the items in (a) to (d) above had been provided (at no cost to A), by B Ltd?

To calculate A's tax liability, we must determine whether he is an employee 1 or selfemployed2: this is important because the tax treatments are different in each case. Beginning with ITEPA, S.4 provides a "non-exhaustive" list of arrangements that constitute an employment. The basic distinction is between a contract "of" services and a contract "for" services: there has been a variable list of factors for determining whether it is a contract "for" or "of" services: the "control" over the person test is present in Ready Mixed Concrete v. MPNI and Addison v. London Philharmonic, however Addison goes further in suggesting other factors, namely who bares the prospect of profit or risk of loss, whether the individual was properly regarded as part of the employer's organisation at the time, who provides the capital, what the parties' own view of the relationship is and provision of capital. Lightman J in Barnett v Brabyn described the factors that are relevant to deciding employment status as 'badges of potential significance': as such there is no one thing that can determine the question but instead the court will look at the issue in its context. The contract between A and B Ltd indicates A is "required to work at B's head office in Oxford, to supervise carpentry work at any property that is being renovated, and when he is not so engaged, to work as a carpenter." This "when he is no so engaged" does not suggest self-employment but simply a different task for A to do when he does not have his primary task of supervision. As such, he is under the control of his employer - ("to tell him what needs to be done") and the intention of the parties indicates such a contract "of" services - ("A is employed as a foreman carpenter by B Ltd... his basic salary of £2,500 per month").
[WELL ARGUED, THOUGH AS I SAID IN THE TUTE IN A FUTURE PROBLEM IF IT SAYS 'EMPLOYED' YOU CAN TAKE IT AS READ]
Having determined that A is an employee, we arrive at his tax liability by addressing the steps given in s.218 of ITEPA: 1) Find the total amount of earnings from the employment for the year [s.218 (1)a]
2) Add the amount to be treated as earnings under the benefit code [s.218 (1)b]
3) Deduct the authorized expenses [s218 (1) STEP 2]
We shall address these parts of the calculation in the order stated by the Statute. 1)The total amount of earnings from the employment for the year The contentious issue in this calculation is determining when an earning is from employment: A makes 4 gains: the "basic salary of £2,500 per month", "annual allowance of £1000" and the "occasional cash gifts from the owners of houses" and the use of the gite in France 3 1 Governed by ITEPA 2003 2 Governed by ITTOIA 2005 3 While (iv) is not a monetary gain, as the first 3 are, it is necessary to establish here whether this gain is from employment, and therefore taxable, before applying the benefit rule)

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