I have a limited Company client. A husband and wife Director and no other employees on the payroll. The husband is a coach and invoices another limited Company for his services as a consultant. Turnover is approx £60k per annum.
The wife completes admin and bookkeeping. In the home office which is the registerd office and place of work as per the consultants employment contract.
I know he can claim subsistence while at or travelling to and from a temporary workplace. The issue is whether he is working at temporary or permanent workplaces. The consultant travels between many different venues. He is not at any one for more than 40% of his time. The venues change occasionally, some he has been going to more than 2 years but the times may change. The travel is itinerant and could be argued there is no normal commute, rather like a travelling salesman. The journeys are indeed wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the trade. I therefore propose the mileage is allowable travel.
The consultant puts through his mileage for the travel at 45p / 25p. I actually do not see a problem with the mileage as stated above.
However I feel the subsistence is excessive. I am seeing coffees and water being purchased, cafe expenses at various venues, Deliveroo payments, uber, and restaurant bills. The subsistence and travel without the mileage is around £4k per annum.
I would like to disallow some of the subsistence as I feel it is excessive. However I am having trouble justifying allowing the mileage but potentially disallowing subsistence incurred on the same journey. I would not want to risk questioning over the mileage being allowable by disallowing part of the travel expenditure but not all of it. The below extract seems to suggest an all or nothing approach:
travel expenses’ include the actual costs of travel together with any subsistence expenditure and other associated costs that are incurred in making the journey. This includes:
any necessary subsistence costs incurred in the course of the journey
the cost of meals necessarily purchased whilst an employee is at a temporary workplace
the cost of the accommodation and any necessary meals where an overnight stay is needed - this will be the case even where the employee stays away for some time
Firstly would the cost of subsistence be allowable at the venues themselves? What about on the way home? (If he was working late or otherwise)
Secondly how do you decide what is and isnt allowable when subsistence being put through involves so many transactions and you cannot tell where these transactions took place a lot of the time. The client tells me they are mostly incurred at venues in the course of duty. I have not the time to go through transaction by transaction and check where things occurred. The client is used to being allowed to claim all these expenses and so this is not going to go down very well, I need to make sure I have my argument well prepared!
I would appreciate your opinion on this matter, travel and subsistence I do find ambiguous and open to intepretation!
Many thanks in advance!