Revenue Tax Briefing Issue 52, May 2003
The legislative provisions governing expense payments and deductions are contained in Sections 114 and 117 TCA 1997. A charge to income tax under Schedule E arises under Section 117 where expense payments are made to directors and employees of a body corporate which are not otherwise chargeable to tax. Such payments are treated as perquisites of the employment of the director or employee and are included in the assessable income of the director or employee for that year.
Section 114 TCA 1997 provides that where the holder of an office or employment of profit is necessarily obliged to incur and defray out of the emoluments of the office or employment of profit expenses of travelling in the performance of the duties of that office or employment, or otherwise to expend money wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of those duties, there may be deducted from the emoluments to be assessed the expenses so necessarily incurred and defrayed.
Payments by an employer which do no more than re-imburse an employee for allowable expenses actually incurred may be made free of tax in certain circumstances. Revenue leaflets IT 51 (Employees’ Motoring Expenses) and IT54 (Employees’ Subsistence Expenses) set out the circumstances and the conditions to be fulfilled in this regard. These provisions apply equally to employed sportspersons and there are no special rules or treatment applicable to this category of employee. The question of allowable travel expenses will depend on the facts of each case, i.e., the location of the club grounds, location of training grounds, if different, location of matches, transport provided by the club etc.
With regard to other expenses incurred by sportspersons, e.g., clothing, boots, gym membership, special foods, etc., a deduction will only be available where the expenses satisfy the requirements of Section 114. If an employee wishes to make a claim in this regard he/she should submit full details at the end of tax year so that the Inspector can determine what, if any, expenses are allowable. The following points should be noted: