Claiming Travelling Expenses

Travel Expenses Tax Facts

For an employed person making a travel expenses tax rebate claim can be really complicated. Complications often arise because it is not always easy to differentiate between private journeys, ordinary commuting and business journeys. It is crucial to know if you are eligible to claim for travel expenses before making a claim.

Travel Expenses – What Can I Claim For?

  • Tax relief is available on any expenses that are incurred when traveling for work purposes. These include transport costs e.g. train, taxi and/or air fare, mileage incurred for using your own vehicle, subsistence costs (meals/snacks/drinks) and accommodation costs for overnight stays.
  • Claiming travelling expenses does not have to be restricted to the cheapest form or route of travel or the cheapest accommodation available.  You are perfectly eligible to claim tax expenses for first class travel. HMRC will only challenge a travel expense claim  in ‘extreme cases’.

Travel Expenses – Am I Eligible?

As stated earlier, complications arise when deciding what is classed as business travel rather than personal or private travel.

HMRC state that business travel can be defined as one of the following two types of travel:

  • journeys forming part of an employee’s employment duties (such as journeys between appointments by a healthcare support worker travelling in the community)
  • journeys related to an employee’s attendance at a temporary workplace

In other words tax relief is only available on work related journeys that are in addition to ordinary commuting.

Travel Expenses – The Rules…

According to HMRC’s guidelines ordinary commuting is; ‘Any travel between a permanent workplace and home, or any other place which is not a workplace.’

  • Any travel between your usual place of work and your home is not classed as business travel. This rule still applies even if the journey you make to your workplace is out of the ordinary, for example if you have to make an evening or weekend journey to your office due to an emergency, this journey is still classed as ordinary commuting.
  • Places that aren’t classed as a permanent place of work, and therefore places you can claim tax relief on expenses incurred when travelling there for work purposes, are categorised by HMRC as places you visit for work to carry out short term tasks only. Such a place then becomes known as a temporary workplace. Travel to and from a temporary workplace is business travel, not ordinary commuting.
  • The official HMRC definition of a temporary workplace is a site on which you expect to work on for less than 24 months and/or one which you spend less than 40% of your time at.
  • If you are an employee who works from home there are different rules as to whether any home-work journeys are classed as ordinary commuting or not. If you work from home only because you choose to do so for convenience then any journeys to an office or other base are ordinary commuting.  If however you work from home because your job requires you to, for example any other base does not have the required facilities to complete your duties, then “home” becomes the permanent workplace and travel to any other workplace becomes business travel.

If you think you can make a claim for travel expenses Tax Rebate Services is here to help. We offer a specialised service to make sure you only claim what you are entitled to in the quickest time possible.

Call today if you need help with claiming travel expenses on 0845 094 0005 or 01228 520477 or complete a short survey and we will be in touch ASAP!

Tony Shanks


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