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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Living accommodation exemption: handling issues on representative occupiers

Former representative occupier posts can qualify for exemption from any benefit arising under Part 3 Chapter 5 ITEPA 2003 on provided living accommodation (see EIM11336). Under the legislation prior to 6 April 1977 a representative occupier who was in the equivalent of lower paid employment was exempt from any benefit on provided living accommodation (see EIM20100). In practice many who qualified for exemption under the old legislation as representative occupiers would continue to qualify for exemption under the current legislation. So the practical exemption for former representative occupier posts was introduced on the change to the current legislation to stop tax offices making a lot of unnecessary enquiries.

This practical exemption still remains today. Records may no longer exist as to whether a particular post was a representative occupier post at 5 April 1977. In such a case you have to make a judgement based on the facts as to whether it is likely that the Inland Revenue would have accepted the post as a representative occupier post at that time.

When considering whether the circumstances remain unchanged you should decide if the continuing post would still meet the representative occupier test (see EIM11337). If it would then it is likely that the circumstances have remained unchanged as long as the duties of the post remain similar to those at 5 April 1977.