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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Tax treatment of fire officers: full-time members of fire brigades in Great Britain: taxable allowances

Full-time members of fire brigades in Great Britain receive various allowances, in addition to pay. The following allowances are chargeable to tax as employment income (see generally EIM00510 onwards):

  • money allowances in the nature of extra pay, for example annual retaining fees, turn-out fees or attendance fees, for members who act as retained members (see EIM63620) at another station in their off-duty periods, and allowances to members acting as instructors, mess managers, etc
  • rent, fuel and light allowances paid in lieu of the provision of free accommodation, and grants, known as compensatory grants, made to cover the income tax liability on these allowances and the grants - the compensatory grants are similar to those paid to police officers (see EIM68110, third bullet)
  • reimbursement of medical charges incurred under the National Health Service Acts except where medical treatment relates to personal injury suffered whilst on duty
  • grants to meet additional travelling expenses arising from a transfer from one location to another
  • discretionary lump sum payments made on transfer where a member is obliged to pay substantially more for a house at the new location than he or she receives from the sale of his house at the old location
  • lodging allowances paid to married members (or single members with dependants) except where the allowance is paid:
    • in circumstances where the member is sent away from his or her normal workplace to work at another place for a period of less than 24 months, or
    • temporarily on transfer until the member can move into permanent accommodation at the new station
  • payments for travel between home and a fire officer’s normal place of work unless the journey is made as a result of an emergency call

General advice about payments for travelling expenses is given at EIM10000 onwards. Advice on emergency call out is at EIM10040.

All payments of mileage allowance (other than those home to work journeys to which PAYE applies) are business travel for the purposes of the treatment of section 229 ITEPA 2003 (see EIM31200 onwards).