As part of the enactment of Statutory Extra Concessions, there is a new Section 57A of the Income Tax (Taxation of Other Income) Act 2005 to allow a trading deduction for reasonable expenses incurred on food and drink for a trader who is at, or travelling to, a place where he or she is carrying on a trade. This sounds wonderful, except that it applies only to trades that are by their nature itinerant, or if the trader goes to that place only occasionally, in the course of his or her trade, and not as part of a normal pattern of travel.

There are some other conditions as well, and I fear that almost everybody seeking to claim such a deduction will find it simply too difficult to persuade HMRC that all these tests are satisfied and will quickly conclude that a claim is not worth the bother.