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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Tax treatment of Local Government Councillors and civic dignitaries: expenses deductions: general: provisional coding allowances

Councillors and civic dignitaries who receive an allowance that is taxable as employment income (see EIM65900  and EIM65920) may be entitled to claim a deduction for:

  • business travelling expenses (see EIM31800)
  • mileage allowance relief (2002/03 onwards) (see EIM31330 onwards) and
  • other expenses incurred wholly exclusively and necessarily in the performance of their duties (see EIM31620 onwards)


to the extent that they are not already reimbursed for these costs by the council. As regards the taxation of mileage allowance payments for 2002/03 onwards, see EIM31200 onwards).

The most common types of allowable expenditure are likely to be telephone calls, postage, stationery, travelling expenses on non-approved duties and use of home. Local authorities differ in their definition of approved duties for which travelling and subsistence allowances are payable and in the other assistance provided for councillors. The level of expenses claimed may, therefore, vary not only because of the weight of work undertaken by a councillor but because of the local authority’s policy on the reimbursement of expenses.

No deduction can be claimed in respect of travel or subsistence costs for journeys between a councillor’s home and a permanent workplace.  Although the council may, subject to the 20 mile condition, pay up to the approved amount for mileage allowance payments for journeys between a councillor’s home and permanent workplace free of tax (see EIM65941), no mileage allowance relief is available for these journeys.

Provisional coding allowances

A provisional coding allowance for expenses can be given in a code to be operated by the council, or in arriving at some other code, provided that the councillor so requests and the amount is reasonable.

See also:

EIM65940 - two places of work.

EIM65950 - notes for guidance.