16 March 2011

The Lighter Side of Tax Relief

The Office of Tax Simplification was set up to review tax reliefs, exemptions and allowances. Here are some of the more "interesting" results...

Tax relief is currently given on breakfast provided for cyclists on a designated cycle-to-work day. Proposal: scrap.

Do you remember Luncheon Vouchers? Up to 15p per day they are currently a tax free benefit. Proposal: replace with a fixed allowance.

By a historical quirk (there seem to be lots of them!), Divers are always treated as self-employed for income tax purposes (apparently). Proposal: scrap.

Income tax relief is provided for players in the Champions League Final - a condition of hosting the game specified by UEFA, apparently. Proposal: keep (demonstrating that football has an even greater influence on the Government than Europe).

Late night taxi journeys can get you tax relief provided you are "later than usual". Proposal: scrap.

Black beer (from Yorkshire) and Angostura bitter (from Trinidad) have been exempted from excise duty since 1930 due to their supposed medicinal benefits. Proposal: scrap.

Free coal for miners and their widows - currently tax free. Proposal: scrap.

Insurance premium tax relief is provided for Channel Tunnel rail services. Proposal: keep, because this is also provided for cross-Channel ferries.

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