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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Tax treatment of Association footballers: Travel expenses: Temporary Workplace rules: Training facility

Most professional footballers are employed on fixed term contracts. A fixed term contract is a task of limited duration. The question of whether relief is due under Section 338 ITEPA 2003 for expenses incurred in travelling to the training ground will depend on the facts in each case and the application of the various tests in Section 338 & Section 339. The basic definition of a permanent workplace is in Section 339 ITEPA 2003 (see EIM32065). It is a place that an employee regularly attends in the performance of their duties, which is not a temporary workplace (see EIM32075).

If the club uses 1 or more training facilities in a season or over the duration of a player’s contract (and this will be more prevalent in the lower leagues) it will be necessary to establish the facts to see if each of them is a permanent or temporary workplace. You will need to see if the following rules apply:

EIM32100 onwards The 24 month rule
EIM32125 onwards The Fixed Term Appointment Rule

When reviewing the application of these rules, you will need to consider:

  • What is mean by a period of continuous work - see EIM32080 
  • HMRC’s rule of thumb about the phrase ‘all or almost all’ - see EIM32125 
  • The importance of the phrase ‘reasonable to assume’ - see EIM32080 
  • The impact of the rule at Section 339(7) where the change in training venue does not have a ‘substantial effect’ on the footballer’s journey - see EIM32280