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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Employment income: scale rate expenses payments: subsistence expenses: sampling guidance: sampling exercise incomplete

The guidance on this page applies for the tax years up to and including 2015-16.  For tax years 2016-17 onwards the benchmark scale rates have been revised and are now included within the exemption for amounts which would otherwise be deductible. See eim30200 onwards.

HMRC accepts that it may not be possible for an employer to ensure that all the selected employees keep their receipts (or produce a contemporaneous record of their expenses) for the whole of the sampling period. There will be cases where the employer obtains responses from less than 100% of the chosen employees, and others where the expenditure is not 100% vouched.

A sample which is less than 100% complete may nevertheless contain sufficient information to be statistically valid. Officers should not automatically reject the evidence of a sampling exercise which falls slightly short of “10% for amonth” (see EIM05210). This is an area where judgement is needed. The officer has to decide whether, having regard to

  • the number of eligible employees
  • the size of the 10% sample and
  • the amount of evidence actually produced

he or she can be satisfied that the evidence produced is sufficient to support a scale rate subsistence payment of a particular amount.