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Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003

Section 351: Expenses of ministers of religion

1511.This section allows a deduction for expenses from the earnings of a minister of religion. These include a proportion of the rent of a house used in the performance of the duties and, where premises are occupied in which a charity or ecclesiastical corporation holds an interest and those premises are used in the performance of the duties, a proportion of the expenses arising in connection with them.

1512.The section derives from section 332 of ICTA.

1513.Unlike section 332 this section does not allow an expense incurred in respect of the profession of a minister to be deducted from any income from an employment or office as a minister. Deductions are restricted to one particular class of income. See Change 90 in Annex 1.

1514.Subsection (1) allows a deduction from the earnings of a minister for amounts incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties.

1515.Subsection (2) allows a deduction from earnings for a quarter of the rent paid where a part of the house is used mainly and substantially in carrying out the duties of a minister. Where the part of the house so used is less than one quarter of the whole house an appropriate, lower proportion of the rent paid may be deducted.

1516.Section 332(3) allows a deduction for “such part of the rent as the inspector by whom the assessment is made allows”. The inspector’s decision is subject to appeal to the Commissioners. Since this rule does not fit comfortably with Self Assessment the provision in this section makes the deduction available without reference to the inspector on a just and reasonable apportionment basis. See Change 91 in Annex 1.

1517.Subsection (3) provides for a deduction from earnings for part of the expenses borne by the minister in connection with premises which are owned by a charity or ecclesiastical corporation and in which he resides for the purposes of carrying out his duties.

1518.Subsection (4) gives the formula for the deduction allowable under the previous subsection.

1519.Subsection (5) defines “charity”. The definition of “charity” is the same as that in section 506(1) of ICTA. See Note 34 in Annex 2.

1520.Subsection (6) requires subsection (1) to be read with section 359 (disallowance of travel expenses: mileage allowances and reliefs) which prevents a deduction where mileage allowance payments are received.

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