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Car Allowances: Earnings or Expenses?

It's not often that the taxpayer wins a famous victory but as this article goes to press, it looks like he has.

The case was Total People Ltd vs HMRC. For those who like the detail, the case citation is [2010] UKFTT 379 (TC) and is from the new First Tier Tax Tribunal. The case concerned a contention that payments to employees as a "car allowance" were motoring expenses and not earnings. To the ordinary man or woman in the street, there doesn't seem to be much difference but to the tax geek, there is a world of difference.

The main difference is that relevant motoring expenses do not attract a charge to employers national insurance whereas earnings do. Is this just another tax case that affects one or two people, and is it such a special situation that few businesses can get any advantage from it?