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Subsistence Expenses

Subsistence is the cost of food and refreshments purchased whilst working at a temporary workplace. The costs have to be incurred during the course of a working day whilst on business travel and not before, for example food and refreshments taken from home for lunch and snacks will not be allowable. If you are entitled to claim for subsistence costs a claim can be made for the last four tax years.

On this page you will find information about:

What is a temporary workplace?

Many jobs require you to travel to different locations to perform your duties. If you are required to travel to different locations for your job, these locations are known as temporary workplaces and you can generally claim tax relief for your travel expense costs, which include subsistence costs.

A temporary workplace is generally classed by HMRC as a location attended for work purposes for a period of less than 24 months, or for a period of time expected to be less than 24 months. If you are lodging away from home at a temporary workplace you are still eligible to claim for your subsistence costs.

Do I need records?

To make a tax rebate claim for travel expenses for subsistence you will generally need to keep receipts for your purchases of meals and refreshments, as these will need to be submitted to HMRC when a claim for subsistence is made at the end of each tax year. A daily diary showing the amounts spent each day along with the name of the place of purchase, can also be acceptable if receipts are not available. This is known as a contemporaneous diary.

My employer reimburses me can I still claim?

If you are paid an allowance by your employer for your subsistence costs you may still be able to make a tax rebate claim if the allowance does not cover the actual cost of your purchases, as long as you can provide receipts. If the subsistence allowance you are paid is taxed you may also be able to make a claim in addition to what you have already received from your employer.

Subsistence – Important to know

When claiming a tax rebate for subsistence costs incurred whilst working in a temporary workplace it is also possible that you may be able to claim further tax relief for your travel expenses including:

  • Use of your own car or van for business mileage.
  • Accommodation and lodging costs.
  • Public transport costs.
  • Other travel related costs, such as car parking and tolls.

For further Tax Refund information, please follow the links below:

Tax Refunds by Employment

  • Healthcare Worker Tax Rebates includes:
    Can I Claim Tax Relief for Professional Fees?
    Can I Claim Tax Relief for the Cost of Shoes and Tights?
    What about Tax Relief for Laundry Costs?
    Can I claim Tax Relief for Business Mileage?
    Can I claim Tax Relief for Specialist Equipment?

  • Nurse Tax Refunds includes:
    Nurse Tax relief for the cost of laundering of Uniform
    Nurse Tax relief for the cost of shoes and tights
    Nurse Tax relief for professional fees – RCN Tax, Unison Tax, NMC Tax
    Nurse Tax Relief for use of own car or public transport for work purposes

  • Teacher Tax Refunds includes:
    Teacher Tax Relief for professional fees – NUT tax relief, NASUWT tax relief.
    Teacher Tax Relief Books and Journals
    Teacher Tax Relief for specialist clothing
    Teacher Tax Relief for Equipment Purchased for Work Use
    Teacher Tax Relief for qualifying travelling expenses

  • Tax Relief for Washing of Uniform includes:
    Am I Eligible for Uniform Tax Relief for Washing Uniform?
    What am I actually claiming back?
    How much will I get from a Uniform Tax Relief claim?
    Can I claim for any other Tax Relief?
  • Mechanic Tax Claim Refunds includes:
    Tool Tax relief– What are Flat Rate Expenses?
    Tool Tax relief– What are Capital Allowances?
    What About Tax Relief for Specialist Clothing?

  • Tax Claim Refunds for Trades / Construction Industry Workers under PAYE includes:
    Can I claim Tax Relief for Business Mileage?
    Can I Claim Tax Relief for other using Public Transport?
    What about Accommodation and Subsistence?
    Tool Tax Refund: What are Flat Rate Expenses
    Tool Tax Refund – What are Capital Allowances?
    Can I Claim Tax Relief for Specialist Clothing?

  • Doctor Tax Refunds includes:
    Doctors Tax relief for professional fees
    Doctors tax relief for Professional Indemnity Insurance
    Doctor Tax Relief for business use of car
    Tools and equipment purchased for work use

  • Police Tax Refunds includes:
    Police Officers Tax Relief for the Cost Of Laundering Uniform
    Police Tax Relief for the cost of Police Federation Fees
    Police Tax Relief for Business use of own car or public transport for work purposes

  • Student Tax Refund includes:
    If I am a student can I claim a Student Tax Refund?
    What About if I work during the Summer?

Tax Refunds for Expenses

  • Business Mileage Tax Refunds includes:
    What is Business Mileage?
    What counts as a Temporary Workplace?
    What are the Business Mileage Rate Allowances?
    Travel Expenses – Can I claim any further Tax Relief?

  • Travel Expenses Tax Refunds includes:
    When can I claim tax relief (business mileage) for travel to a temporary workplace?
    When can I claim tax relief (business mileage) for travelling to work in different locations?
    If I use public transport can I claim tax relief for a travel card?
    When can I claim tax relief for Subsistence and accommodation?
    Do I need to use the cheapest transport or accommodation to claim tax relief?
    Travel Expenses – How much can I claim?

  • Tools for Work Use Tax Refunds includes:
    Tools Tax – When am I Eligible for Tax Relief on Tools, Equipment and Specialist Clothing?
    Tools Tax – What are Flat Rate Expenses?
    Tax relief for tools – What are Capital Allowances?
    What About Tax Relief for Specialist Clothing?

Tax Refunds for Tax Code

Tax Refunds for Left The UK

  • Left or Leaving the UK Tax Claim Refunds includes:
    When am I entitled to leaving the UK tax back?
    How much UK tax back can I receive?
    Do I need to complete Tax Claim Forms when leaving the UK?
    Do I need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return?

  • UK Non Resident Tax Refunds includes:
    What is Non-Resident Status?
    What is a Double Taxation Agreement?
    What sort of UK Income is eligible for tax relief?
    How do I apply for UK Non-Resident Tax Relief?
    Do I need to Complete a Self Assessment Form?

  • UK Non Resident Landlords Tax Refunds includes:
    What is the UK Non Resident Landlord Scheme?
    What if the property is administered by Letting Agents?
    Can I claim Tax Relief for Property Expenses?
    How does the Non Resident Landlord Scheme affect my Tax payments?
    Do I need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return?
    How does other income affect my tax allowance?

  • Seafarers Tax Refund includes:
    What is Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction?
    Who can claim SED?
    What information do I need?
    How do I claim?

CIS Tax Refunds

  • CIS Tax Refunds includes:
    What is a CIS Tax Refund?
    How do I get a CIS Tax Refund?
    What is the average CIS Tax Refund?
    Should I fill in my Tax Return myself or use an Accountant?
    CIS Tax Refunds – important to know

Other Tax Refunds

  • Car Tax Refund includes:
    Can I get a refund on my Car Tax/Vehicle Tax?

  • Council Tax Rebate includes:
    Can I claim a Council Tax rebate?

  • Gift Aid includes:
    What is Gift Aid?
    What kind of Donations Apply to Gift Aid?
    Gift Aid Claim Tax Refund!
    How Do I make a Gift Aid Claim?

  • NI Refund includes:
    For the Employed
    Missing National Insurance Years
    National Insurance Refund if you have left the UK
    Class 1 National Insurance and the State Pension Scheme
    National Insurance Refund for the Self Employed

  • VAT Refund includes:
    VAT Refund for Individuals
    VAT Refund if you live in the EU
    VAT Refund if you live outside the EU
    VAT Refund if you work or study in the UK but live outside the EU
    VAT Refund for Business

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Tax Refunds