Tribunal: No tax relief for author’s book research
The Tribunal recently rejected an author’s claim to tax relief for expenses related to the book he was writing.
The taxpayer was a self-employed journalist and author who produced a rolling news programme on the internet, relying on advertisers for his income. Consequently, he claimed that it was essential for him to take his work with him wherever he was in the world.
HMRC rejected a claim for relief in respect of expenses incurred by the taxpayer on research for a book called “A Year on a Pontoon”. This was to reflect life on a French pontoon and the relief claimed was due in respect of a round sum amount of £10,000. This related to expenditure claimed for moving, mooring and living on the boat in the South of France.
HMRC argued that the £10,000 did not satisfy the criteria for relief and that, in any event no relief was available for the cost of general accommodation as this was not an expense incurred wholly and exclusively for business purposes.
The Tribunal found that the appellant’s expenses had duality of purpose as both he and his wife used the boat as a home. Therefore, the expenses were not wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the appellant’s business as a journalist and writer. The Tribunal also indicated that the 50% apportionment that resulted in the figure of £10,000 was irrelevant.