Are payments made to volunteers taxable?

Charities may pay volunteer expenses such as:

  • travel to and from home
  • travel, subsistence and accommodation whilst on charity business
  • childcare costs
  • the cost of telephone calls and household expenses incurred on charity business.

Providing the charity does no more than reimburse the extra costs incurred by the volunteer they will not be taxable. Round sum allowances, honoraria, or travel/meal expenses in excess of benchmarks may be seen as remuneration by HMRC and could therefore be subject to income tax and National Insurance Contributions. The volunteer becomes a worker or employee for employment protection and minimum wage requirements and the volunteer’s entitlement to state benefits may also be affected.

Want to discuss further?

Ross Palmer

Senior Tax Manager

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