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Tax Help

Old 22nd Nov 2012, 11:28
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: somerset
Posts: 2
Tax Help

I'm sure this will have been covered in the past but having recently finished with the military and now flying as a civilian I have decided that it's time to get a grip of the tax I'm paying (all be it 20 years late), as I'm sure that by leaving it to the PAYE system I'm paying far more than I need to.

Does anyone out there know of costs that we all incur while being employed as pilots both military and civilian that the HMRC accept can be offset against personal tax bills?

Many thanks.
Pilot 3 is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2012, 20:25
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,496
This is the one for uniformed pilots which is applicable to me (and others) as a Police pilot. Best you get a uniform if you haven't already got one.
Airline pilots: industry wide FRE for 2006/07 onwards: introduction
MightyGem is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2012, 21:35
  #3 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,712
Pilot, your company may have negotiated a fixed amount for uniform maintenance allowance a bit like the military did. Be aware these are usually minimums.

In the case of RAF officers I calculated that the tax relief at basic rate over 5 years would pay for the complete replacement of your basic uniform through stores based on expected life of each item. This allowance made not consideration for replacement of any No 1 or No 5 items. These were effectively extraordinary expenditure and their costs, supported by receipts if necessary, could be claimed for in-year. Naturally this would only give you the tax relief element.

In Mrs PNs case her allowance negotiated by her membership body was derisory. I calculated her laundry costs and additional replacement items. These were duly claimed (several times more than the basic allowance) and accepted without question by HMIR.

Your union dues are admissable.

Your travel expenditure (T&S) where this is more than the actual expenditure can be itemised and deducted. If your company pays you less than 45p/m you can claim the difference.

Gift Aid is often misunderstood. If you give to charity they get the tax back at 22% (I think) but as a higher rate tax payer you also get 18% back.

Maybe employ a tax consultant for a year of so, or get TaxCalc and read through their notes.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2012, 09:25
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 608
The fixed rate of £850 is pretty much it. This is to cover all sorts of stuff - a new suitcase every x years, new sunglasses every y years etc etc etc. You can also add £100pa to that to go towards the travel you have to do that's not for normal commuting eg sims, ground training etc. If your employer pays less than HMRC of 45p/mile, you can claim back non normal commuting that way, but you can't claim both that and the £100 - work out what's best for you.

BALPA subscriptions - you can put 67% of that against tax. I assume that's also true for other unions.

Uniform - don't know what happens if you have to provide your own!

Hope this helps
deltahotel is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2012, 13:07
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: UK
Age: 74
Posts: 349
Claiming tax rebates

I left the RAF in 1983 and worked for airlines various for the next 27 years
I agree with the above but would add some extra bits

The Guild charges are allowable

Your airline BALPA can negotiate with the taxman for items considered unique to your activity especially if you can show a direct need.

If your airline does not provide a mobile phone but expects you to have one you can claim the extra costs of the calls but not the phone since they assume you will have one anyway

My last airline Eastern provides headsets but not noise cancelling. Balpa negotiated a deal for noise cancellers which netted a fixed proportion each year amounting to most of the cost over a period. I expect many airlines will have similar deals or could obtain them

Tax online is simple to figure out if you are thinking about PAYE use the online calculater. I started it before the general public because BMI volunteered us into it during the trial. You enter the data it does the sums as you go along, you can see last year to figure out anything you have missed but the basic sums are easy. Add up all your income and add on any extra bits BUPA, Loss of licence, kit insurance etc. Subtract and you have net income. Factor each lump at the rate charged and you have the tax you should have paid by year end. Whole thing takes about an hour if you keep the bits of paper as you go along in a tax man envelope

For some reason tax offices regard airline pilots as belonging on their dodgy customers list not realising we are all to knackered to spend time dreaming up avoidance schemes so be prepared for the odd query and even an enquiry. I was subject to an enquiry because I had overstated the amount of interest a building society had paid me. They said it was an error and therefore suspicious
Tinribs is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2012, 21:10
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: S England
Age: 51
Posts: 319
BALPA subscriptions - you can put 67% of that against tax. I assume that's also true for other unions.
Why on earth would you want to join a union - BALPA or otherwise?
Chicken Leg is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2012, 22:39
  #7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: somerset
Posts: 2

Thanks for the info, I take it the £850 figure is recognised by HMRC and they'll accept that if I put that down in the relevant box.

As far as BALPA goes it did feel a little strange joining a union after twenty odd years in the mob, but I see it as an insurance policy if nothing else. Should things go wrong, my fault or not it's nice to have the phone number in your pocket of someone who can point you in the direction of decent legal advice if nothing else.

It sometimes feels a bit lonely out here in the big bad world.

Pilot 3
Pilot 3 is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2012, 01:12
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,496
Uniform - don't know what happens if you have to provide your own!
That's what the fixed rate is for.
MightyGem is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2012, 05:24
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,840
Why on earth would you want to join a union - BALPA or otherwise?
Oh there are plenty of examples why - just take a look at the civilian T&E thread.

Last edited by wiggy; 24th Nov 2012 at 05:26.
wiggy is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2012, 09:07
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Home
Posts: 179
The BALPA tax booklet is very helpful!
haltonapp is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2012, 09:26
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 608
"The basic £850 FRE is deemed to cover all potentially allowable expenditure by the employees concerned (other than travelling expenses) except:

•The provision of uniforms, where these are required to be worn but are not provided by the employer (see EIM50053)"

Uniform, if not provided by the employer can be claimed seperately, as can noise cancelling headset.

BALPA? Gives a level of legal cover in case it really does go wrong. If you join an airline which has union recognition you may wish (or not) to support that negotiating body.
deltahotel is offline  

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