Professional fees and subscriptions

By Tolley
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The following Personal Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Professional fees and subscriptions
  • Professional bodies listed in statute
  • Approved professional bodies
  • Fees to an HMRC-unapproved professional body
  • Payment of qualifying professional fees and subscriptions

Many employees are required to pay professional fees or subscriptions to trade bodies or institutes in order to carry out their jobs.

The tax treatment of these fees depends on whether or not:

  • the fees are paid to a qualifying body (either under the statutory rules or the approved body list, see below), and
  • the fees are paid or reimbursed by the employer (from 2016/17 onwards)

Where the fees are paid to a qualifying body on or after 6 April 2017 and this amount is either paid or reimbursed by the employer, the exemption for reimbursed business expenses and benefits applies. This means that there is no need to report the cost to the employer on a form P11D and therefore no need for the employee to claim a deduction from taxable earnings on his Tax Return. See the Expenses and benefits matched by allowable deductions guidance note (subscription sensitive).

ITEPA 2003, ss 289A–289E

The tax treatment can be summarised as follows:

 Paid or reimbursed by the employerPaid by the employee and not reimbursed
Fees paid to a qualifying bodyExempt ― no need to report on the form P11D and no need for the employee to claim a deduction

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