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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Tax treatment of teachers, lecturers and tutors: Association of University and College Lecturers: notes on expenses deductions: expenses of attending courses, conferences, etc.

“5. Expenses of attending courses, conferences etc

[Note: the concession referred to in this paragraph has been withdrawn for payments made after 31 August 2000, see SE32540.]

A teacher seconded by his/her employer on full salary to attend a full-time course of training in the United Kingdom lasting at least four weeks may claim concessional tax relief on expenses necessarily incurred in attending the course and paid by the teacher out of his/her emoluments. These will cover:

a. Additional costs incurred by a married teacher obliged to live away from the place where he/she usually works, provided that he/she continues to maintain the family home there. This also applies to a single teacher who has family responsibilities equivalent to a married person and maintains his/her home for relatives or dependants while he/she is away on a course. A single teacher without family responsibilities might be entitled to an allowance if he/she has continuing commitments in respect of his/her usual permanent establishment from which he/she cannot easily withdraw while away on the course. In such a case, any claim should include details of the continuing commitments in addition to the expenses incurred while away from the usual place of employment.

b. Course fees where, exceptionally, these are not met by the employer.

c. Incidental expenses such as the cost of necessary travelling and the cost of essential books.

This concession does not, however, extend to expenses in respect of courses which require part-time attendance or last for less than four weeks, or where the teacher is not seconded on full salary. Such expenses must be considered under the strict rules of Section 198(1) and are therefore not admissible. Similarly no deduction can be allowed for attending professional conferences etc as these are normally considered to be outside the scope of Section 198(1). Moreover, where the teacher attends in an official capacity, his expenses are usually reimbursed.”