Bar in nannies' tax deal row

CLAIMS by women barristers that the tax man has struck a “no questions asked” deal giving them a 10 per cent tax allowance on their nannies' wages has been denied by the Inland Revenue.

The disagreement comes from a report in the Bar's newsletter about talks between the Bloomsbury tax office and the Association of Women Barristers, the Chancery Bar Association, and the Revenue Bar Association. Bar News says barristers (in fact, any self-employed person) can claim an allowance on time the nanny may spend on duties connected with the barristers' practice and acting as a “clerk”.

But the Inland Revenue disagrees with the claim that it agreed to allow as a deductible expense 10 per cent of the total cost to the barrister of employing the nanny, with a maximum allowance of u1,500 a year.

This would mean passing the allowance through “on the nod” without it being scrutinised by the tax office, says a revenue spokeswoman.

She says of the bar's claims: “This is not true. It misrepresents the position.

“In no way can the Inland Revenue be seen to apparently favour one group at the expense of any other. There is no special concession for women barristers.”