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BT Group: Personal Incidental Expenses

22 January 2010

CWU Annual Conference 2009, carried proposition 47 that was intended to increase the Personal Incidental Expenses allowance.

Conference 2009, Proposition 47:

“Conference agrees that Personal Incidental Expenses (PIES) for Newgrid grades has stayed at low level of £5 for a considerable number of years.
The T&FSE is instructed to negotiate with BT a significant increase for our members”.

The Executive requested the Research Department to undertake some research on the subject with a view to formulating a claim to be presented to BT. It was found that the current rate of £5 non-taxable per overnight stay payable without receipts is a limit established by the Her Majestys Revenues and Customs (HMRC) as per Section 200A of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988. This limit remains in force and could not be increased through negotiation with BT.

The HMRC does allow for more to be claimed but this must be fully receipted and the whole of the claim, including the first £5, becomes taxable. This HMRC provision is also replicated fully in the BT Travel Policy.

BT is operating at the limits of HMRC policy with its current practice. In the circumstances there is no point in submitting a claim for increase as instructed by Proposition 47. The Executive will write to the HMRC to point out the view of the CWU that the current limits no longer reflect the cost of incidental expenses.