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Hard-Working Student Pays Price of Poor Record-Keeping

A hard-working student nurse who held down several jobs to fund himself through university has paid the price for his poor record-keeping after the tax authorities refused to allow the deduction of travel, subsistence and other expenses from his income tax liabilities because they were not backed up by receipts or other reliable evidence.

Over a six-year period, the student had held a number of part-time jobs, working at hospitals and care homes as well as travelling to and from patients’ own homes. He sought tax deductions in respect various expenses including the cost of acquiring and laundering work clothes, telephone charges, accountancy and university tuition fees and the use of a room in his home as an office.

His expenses claims – which came to more than £7,000 in one of the relevant tax years – had been compiled with the assistance of tax advisers. However Revenue and Customs (HMRC) allowed only a small proportion of them on the basis that he had failed to provide reliable evidence of the costs he claimed to have incurred.

In dismissing the student’s appeal, the First-Tier Tribunal noted that it was for him to back up his expenses claims with documentary or other firm evidence and that tax deductions could not be allowed ‘on assertion alone’. In respect of a number of claims, he had failed to establish that the expenses were wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of his various employments.