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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Living accommodation: meaning of provided: example 1

Sections 97 and 108 ITEPA 2003 and Extra-Statutory Concession A91

The meaning of provided can cause difficulties, often in the case of holiday accommodation (see EIM11405). This page, example EIM11422 and example EIM11423 use examples with similar basic facts to bring out the different meaning provided can have depending on the facts of the case.

A UK company purchases a flat in a French ski resort for £200,000. It is agreed that a market rental for the property would be £500 per week during the 6 month skiing season and £100 per week during the rest of the year. A husband and wife who are both directors of the company use the flat for holidays with their children for 3 weeks during the ski season and one week in the rest of the year. Their children are neither employees nor directors of the company. The employer advises that the sole reason the property was bought was as a holiday home for the husband and wife. It has only been used by them as a holiday home.

We would argue in this case that provided is equivalent to available for use. Assuming that the flat was habitable for the whole of the year we would seek a benefit under Part 3 Chapter 5 measured on availability for the whole of the year. The employer may argue that the husband and wife work full time and that this prevents them using the flat for more than the 4 weeks in the year of actual use and so they are effectively only provided with it for 4 weeks. We do not accept that argument.

If the cost of the accommodation exceeds £75,000, then the amount of the cash equivalent would be calculated in accordance with Section 106 ITEPA 2003 (see EIM11472). As the annual value is based on the open market rental, under ESC A91 the cash equivalent of the benefit is restricted to step 1 of Section 106. This would mean that the cash equivalent for the tax year would be £15,600 (£500 x 26 + £100 x 26). Under Section 108 that would be split between the husband and wife in whatever way was just and reasonable, presumably half each in this case (see EIM11472).