Tim Healy Vs HMRC
Benidorm actor Tim Healy, 60, has been successful against HM Revenue and Customs in a first tier tax tribunal case after the judge found that his expenses, during his time working away from home in London, were indeed tax deductable.
Healy has made various television appearances over the years but is best known for playing Dennis Patterson in Auf Wiedersehen Pet, and also Les/Lesley in ITV’s popular comedy Benidorm.
This is not the first time Healy has had dealings with HMRC as he provided voice over work for them back in 2005, where he spoke about the then new Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) advising contractors and subcontractors to check if they were paying the correct amount of tax.
The Cheshire based star had appeared in the West End musical Billy Elliot in London for 12 months between December 2004 and December 2005. During this time it was found that his claim for £32,503 in accommodation expenses was “wholly and exclusively for the purposes of his profession” and so therefore, tax deductable.
Although he was successful in recouping expenses for his accommodation, Healy however, failed to prove expenses for his living costs (£4,094) and taxi fares (£4,080) as he didn’t have the correct evidence and so was disallowed these expenses by the judge.Billy Elliot The Musical
Judge Barbara King was clearly unconvinced in his claim for travel costs as Healy’s bank statements showed he had been making visits to the Groucho Club in London, which could indicate that he had been making social visits as well as travelling for work purposes only. Healy’s accountant had argued that as an actor his trade was itinerant and so his job involved travelling to and from work so therefore were allowed for tax.
Ms Nichola Ross Martin, who acted for Healy said: “If he [Healy] had had itemised journeys, then he could probably have justified the travel.” ; It turns out that Ross Martin went on to call for clearer guidance from HMRC on who may qualify for subsistence expenses as ‘itinerant’ workers.
“An interesting case because there is so little case law on actor’s expenses. An actor like Mr Healy has a job that involves moving from studio to stage across the UK and so it would have created a great deal of uncertainty had the case gone against him,” she wrote in her blog.
Kevin Kinsella Jnr Snr | KinsellaTaxKevin Kinsella Jnr, of KinsellaTax, said:
“A very difficult case to decide, many years ago a barrister was refused deductions for clothing. Cases like this really do need documents and careful records. Small diaries to pop in details of every journey and cost jotted down are really helpful. The trouble is that possibly the cost of representing a client in small cases like this may become uneconomical.”