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Quick! Get your business travel claims to SARS before the UK implements its new tax status test

by , 15 March 2013
Think SARS is the only tax body with a right to claim taxes? Think again. The UK's HM Revenue & Customs is considering changes to its residency test. So you could need to redefine your tax residency status from April if you spend part of the year in the UK on business. So you could be seen as a UK resident and face double-taxation. But your business can still get money back from SARS if you submit proof of certain business travel expenses!

Worried about the tax implications of spending part of the year in the UK?
 
You should be. 
 
At present, the UK's residency test says that if you're in the UK for 183 days or more in a single tax year, or more than 90 days on average in a single tax year over the previous four tax years, you're seen as a UK resident. 
 
Now, changes have been proposed based on family, property, work and social connections, says Fin24.
 
So this could have implications if your company frequently sends employees overseas on business.
 
But don't despair – you can still get some money back from SARS when you send your employees across the country to travel.
 
Don't forget to claim back for these two common business travel expenses from SARS!
 
If the establishment your employees will be staying is a registered Vat vendor, (most hotels and commercial accommodation facilities will be), you can claim back the input tax charged on this business travel accommodation, says FSP Business.
 
So if your employees are going to stay at guesthouses and bed and breakfasts as part of their employment duties, remember to first check to see if they're registered Vat vendors before you book, as this is an easy way to get some money back from SARS.
 
 And you may have heard that meals and entertainment claims are automatically outlawed by SARS… not true!
 
You can actually claim back the input tax charged on any meals – including alcohol – when your employee travels on business.
 
But SARS will only accept a business travel tax claim for your employee's meal. 
 
So any friends or clients that eat with your employee will have to get a separate receipt for their meals or SARS won't accept the full claim, says the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service.
 
The only way to ensure your business travel claims aren't rejected by SARS…
 
Make sure your business isn't missing out on these easy ways to get money back from SARS – but remember your employee will have to keep all receipts you're claiming for as proof!
 


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