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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

The general rule for employees: expenses: the restrictive nature of the rule

Throughout the case law on the general rule for employees’ expenses the courts have emphasised its restrictive nature. For example, in Lomax v Newton (34TC558) Vaisey J commented:

“The words are indeed stringent and exacting; compliance with each and every one of them is obligatory if the benefit of the rule is to be claimed successfully. They are,to my mind, deceptive words in the sense that when examined they are found to come to nearly nothing at all.”

Again, in McKie v Warner (40TC65), Plowman J commented:

“It has been pointed out many times, and it is unnecessary for me to refer to any of the occasions because it is notorious, that it is very difficult for a taxpayer under Schedule E [employment income] to bring his expenses within the [section].”