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Claiming a living out allowance

Posted 26 November 2015 under Tax Q&A


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George says:
25 November 2015 at 16:10

I do consulting work from time to time which means that I am away from home for several months at a time. With my past contracts the employment agency has arranged that I receive part of my package as a subsistence allowance which is non taxable. The present agency, however, will only give me a housing allowance instead of a subsistence allowance. I believe a housing allowance is taxable. Is there some other way I can claim my living out expenses from SARS?

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TaxTim TaxTim says:
25 November 2015 at 20:59

A housing allowance can be taxable if they are providing the property or renting it for you. What is their reason for not giving a subsistence allowance?

George says:
25 November 2015 at 22:04

They do not provide the property i.e. you have to provide your own accommodation. Does this mean that the allowance is not taxable? I don't think they quite understand what a subsistence allowance is all about further one has to sign an agreement that one is prepared to be transferred to another site and in exchange you receive an accommodation, field and vehicle allowance. It really is a very complicated contract for a short term contract. In all my previous contracts with other companies I received a basic package and I could then structure it to include a subsistence allowance.

TaxTim TaxTim says:
26 November 2015 at 17:16

In this case where there is "'relocation"' and they provide the accommodation etc then there should not be any tax on these amounts provided they are solely for the purpose of business. Provided they pay for these actual costs themselves.


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