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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Other expenses: professional fees and subscriptions: claims by individuals for income tax relief

Sections 343 and 344 ITEPA 2003

When a body is approved by HMRC, it is asked to notify its members of the circumstances in which they are entitled to a deduction. The members can claim a deduction from HMRC.

Normally it will be apparent from the nature of the person’s employment whether the fee or contribution is paid as a statutory condition of exercising the employment, or whether membership of the approved body to which the annual subscription is paid is relevant to the employment.

Where membership does not seem directly relevant you should consider whether the nature of the duties is such that a deduction is nevertheless allowable. A professional person with management responsibilities, for example a head teacher or an engineer in charge of a section of a factory, might well be entitled both to a deduction for a subscription to his appropriate professional body and to an approved society concerned with management skills.

Time should not be spent in making enquiries regarding the relevance of a subscription unless membership of the body appears to be quite unrelated to the employment.

Refusal of requests for relief

A deduction may not be given in respect of:

  • a fee or contribution not included in List 3 (see EIM32881)
  • an annual subscription to a body that has not been approved by the Board (see EIM32900)
  • an entrance fee or a life membership subscription
  • a fee, contribution or subscription borne by the employer, unless the payment by him is treated as earnings, for example, because the individual is an employee earning who for 2015/16 and earlier is not in an excluded employment (see EIM20007).

Where an individual is also chargeable to income tax on Trading Income as a self-employed person, a deduction should not be allowed both in computing the amount chargeable as Trading Income and from employment income for the same fee, contribution or subscription.