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Professional Bodies (Membership)

Volume 170: debated on Friday 30 March 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to allow unemployed professional people to claim tax relief on their membership of professional bodies as if they were employed.

[holding answer 23 March 1990]: The general position is that, under section 201 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, an employee may have tax relief for annual subscriptions to a professional body if the subscription is paid out of the employee's pay, it is paid to a body approved by the Inland Revenue under section 201(3) of the 1988 Act and the activities of the body are relevant to the duties of the employment. A professional subscription paid during a period of unemployment would not normally satisfy the conditions for relief, but where a subscription is paid during a period of unemployment and the individual was employed during the same tax year (in a job to which membership of the professional body was relevant) tax relief would usually be given against the income from that employment. We have no plans for changing the rules of this tax relief.