Travelling and Subsistence – What Can I Claim Back?

24 February 2014

It can often be confusing which travelling expenses can be claimed back by an employee, or business, due to the many rules set out by H M Revenue & Customs.

Travelling to your place of work 

Generally, employees cannot claim travel expenses to their main place of work. However, if you work at one place for less than 24 months, then it may count as a temporary work place, for which your travel costs to and from this place are allowable.

It has also become more popular for employees to work from home and only travel into the office for certain meetings to a customer’s premises. In this case, as main place of work is actually the employee’s home,  the employee would be able to claim travel expenses to the office.

Currently the basic mileage allowance is 45p per mile, however some companies may choose to reimburse at a lower or higher amount. If they reimburse at a lower amount, then the employee can claim the difference on their self assessment, however if the business reimburses at a higher amount you will be subject to a benefit in kind tax.


For an employee, food can be claimed if they are travelling on business or working unusual hours. H M Revenue & Customs has set some scale rates for subsistence in such circumstances, for example, if you are having to work away from your usual place of work for more than 10 hours in a day then you will be entitled to claim the two meal rate of £10 for subsistence.

However, if you were to keep the receipts for meals purchased you would most likely find that it would be more beneficial to claim the actual cost.

Generally,  a sole trader would not be able to claim these. However, if you were working away and had to stay away from home overnight, you may be able to claim a reasonable dinner and breakfast allowance.

If you would like more detailed advice on what you can and cannot claim, then please contact Green & Co directly.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Image courtesy of artemisphoto at

1 Comment

Submit a Comment

Related articles

Follow our blog via email

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.