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Updated guidance on expenses claims and alcoholic drinks

05 Jun 2018

Finance Committee approves changes to our financial regulations and procedures

The University has been advised by HMRC that in order to comply with their its guidelines involving alcohol reimbursed on expenses that one drink per day is only acceptable as a bona fide expense if it is taken with a meal.  

As a consequence, the University’s Finance Committee has approved changes to our Financial Procedures on paying for alcoholic drinks via expenses. This will ensure that the University complies with HMRC’s rules regarding alcoholic drinks. 

The new wording within the Financial Procedures is:

"The University will pay for one alcoholic drink with a meal per person each day when staff are on University business, a “drink” being no more than a single glass of wine or pint of beer. This rule applies regardless of the source of funds and covers all types of University business, including subsistence (when staff are away on University business) and business entertainment (when non-University staff are present). While overseas, staff must comply with all local laws on the consumption of alcohol." (Financial Procedure 7.67)

Other alcoholic drinks of similar value, such as a pint of cider or single measure of spirits, will also be acceptable. 

The Handy Guide to assist staff claiming expenses from the University has been updated to include the new rules. It covers the main questions that are often asked about expenses, including the authorisation of claims, receipts, travel, meals and drinks, telephone and internet fees, gifts and professional subscriptions.

Other changes to the Financial Regulations and Procedures includes new wording to incorporate the University’s responsibilities under the Criminal Finances Act. The University, its subsidiaries, its staff and other associated bodies and persons must not knowingly engage in tax evasion – acting dishonestly to reduce a tax liability – or facilitate tax evasion by a third party. 

The Criminal Finances Act and other relevant legislation must be complied with by all staff.