Travel: When home might be a workplace. By Nichola Ross Martin

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Nichola Ross Martin looks at the latest home to work travel case with HMRC's updated guidance.

The UK's employee benefit and expenses rules are complicated - even our own National Audit Office gets them wrong. The travel rules have always been a bit of a lottery when it comes to some employments, and increasingly more so as work patterns change.

A summary of the basic travel rules is as follows:

Journey fromto Description Tax effect

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By Anonymous
11th Aug 2008 10:01

I am putting these all together today, thank you for your patience!

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By Anonymous
08th Aug 2008 17:31

Similar travel tax relief query
I have a similar problem re travel claims. A specialised Crane Driver who is employed on temporary contracts around the country, usually London area, over the past 5 years has been employed by 6 different companies working from 7 months to 25 months on different contracts. He has temporary accomodation in the areas and drives from home to temporary workplace either weekly or fortnightly, can he claim the mileage. I believe if the workplace is temporary and is under 2 years contract he can claim. Is this correct or have I read it wrongly. Confused???

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06th Aug 2008 21:20

Question still unanswered
Iestyn wrote "If you travel by train then you claim the train fare"
Sorry you've misunderstood the question - the train journey is the normal commute. I'm asking about the car journey to a temporary workplace that is say within 9 miles of the office. If the normal commute was by car then the journey to the client (less than 9 miles from the office) is classed as private because it is classed as similar to the normal commute.
So what I want to know - is the journey by car still classed as private or because it is by a different mode of transport (to the normal commute by train) does this negate the aspect of being similar to the normal commute.

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By egbell
06th Aug 2008 15:17

self-employed subsistence
I seem to recall the key case used to be Caillebotte v Quinn.HMRC used always to quote the mantra,"you eat to live,not live to eat"when it came to lunches etc not too far from base>They would allow overnight meals & accomodation caused by work.

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06th Aug 2008 15:17

Or what about ..
.. an employee who normally travels to work by train, but today has to go from the office to a client using his own car so has travelled in by car. He wouldn't normally travel to work by car, so is the home to work still private?

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05th Aug 2008 20:33

Travel by different modes of transport
If normal commuting is done on the train then can an employee claim mileage allowance for travel from home to a temporary workplace in his private car. I understand the differences of temporary workplaces (EIM32301 and EIM32306) when you use a car to get to work and a car to get to the temporary workplace - but does the train element change this?

I would appreciate your thoughts.


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By Anonymous
05th Aug 2008 12:15

No problem
The topic has been on my list for some time now so give me a week or two!

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By Anonymous
04th Aug 2008 17:31

What a good idea!
Can I support this request.

Trying to decide whether the situation of say, a peripatetic fitness instructor/alternative therapist doing all the admin and some emergency consultations at home (despite the strictures of a house-share-landlord claiming rent a room relief!) and seeing other clients at a number of establishments rented from other practitioners, is more akin to that of a milkman or a building sub-contractor is beginning to do my head in.

It would be most helpful for this isolated provincial to hear what the greater world of accountants have to say on the matter!

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04th Aug 2008 16:47

Travel & Subsistence for the self-employed
Hello Nichola. Thanks for this article.

Could you also consider doing an article on the eligibility of travel, motoring, subsistence and accomodation claims for the self-employed please ?

It would be useful to have something "official-looking" to waive under the noses of doubting clients when we disallow their daily home-to-shop motoring !

We have a new client who has his own breakdown recovery vehicle, and was claiming the costs of food whilst out on recoveries, which may (or may not) have been a fair way from his home. We disallowed this expenditure as it was fairly small, but wonder what the party line is on this one ?

Clearly at one end of the scale we have a painter, decorator, electrician, plumber etc who are out all day every day and cannot claim for any food or refreshments. And at the other end of the scale, perhaps, is a shop owner who has an overnight stay once or twice a year to attend a trade show. And somewhere in between is someone like myself, who works 95% of the time at home but will go out for a half day to see several clients and be away over a lunchtime, or have to attend a training course 30 miles away which ends at 1pm. Can I claim for food in these instances ?

We also struggle a bit with meals for self-employed lorry drivers, and overnight accomodation or sleeping in the cab - there is plenty of Revenue guidance on employed lorry drivers, but very little on what a self-employed one can claim - I think it's just actual expenses incurred. Can a self-employed lorry driver claim for food whilst out on the road every day ?

We have one client who sleeps at a truckstop every week-night, even though this is just 10 miles from his home - that's what having 3 kids does to you ! But it is clearly more convenient for him to be poised near the port ready for an early morning start every day, and he has nowhere to park his lorry at his house. What costs of his are allowable ?

I have another lorry-driving client who parks his truck at the port (for which he is charged) and then drives from home to the truck every day and back in his car - are his motoring expenses allowable ?

What if a freelance lorry driver has no truck of his own, and drives to whatever depot he has to pick a truck up from ?

Finally, can you clarify what expenses a self-employed person can claim on an overseas trip which also doubles as a holiday with family. My particular example is a photographer, who will go abroad for a week with his ladyfriend and spend a couple of days shooting photos which he subsequently hopes to sell to stock photo agencies. I did find some guidance on this once, but could not locate it when I needed it last.

Thanks for any help you can give on this lot !

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By kajaine
08th Sep 2009 13:50

Travelling expenses of self employed people


Did you do one for the self employed?


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