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: