travel expenses

Travel Expenses – What am I allowed to claim?


Self Employed

The cost of business travel is an allowable expense for tax.

The type of journey that qualifies for tax relief as business travel depends on the way that the self-employed person trades and where his business operates.

If a journey is undertaken for mixed reasons (business and private), a proportion of the cost relating to private activities should be disallowed for tax. If no apportionment is possible the journey is not allowable.

Additional costs of travel such as subsistence or accommodation expenses incurred when travelling on business will qualify as part of the costs of travel and are generally also tax-deductible


Subsistence is the tax term for food and drink. Subsistence expenses can be claimed with business travel as long as the individual is not working at a ‘permanent’ workplace or the individual only travels to the destination occasionally and is outside of a normal pattern.

A subsistence claim must be deemed reasonable and there is no upper limit.

Limited Companies – Directors and their Employees

Travel expenses are allowable for tax and National Insurance Contributions when you travel for business purposes. An employer can reimburse its employees for all their travel costs when they are travelling in the performance of their employment duties.

If your employer does not reimburse you for travel costs in most cases you can make a claim for tax purposes on your tax return to deduct your travel expenses from your employment income.

There are situations where an employee is not permitted to make a claim because the law only permits tax relief on sums that have been reimbursed, these include travel costs in relocating, going to work abroad or coming to work in the UK.

A claim must be based on your actual expenses, however, you may claim a mileage allowance using HMRC’s authorised mileage rate. In that case, you must keep accurate mileage records.

Travel costs also include subsistence, accommodation and other incidental costs of travel.

If you would like to learn more about what travel expenses are allowable as both a self employed individual or employee, please contact the office on 01249 465 435 or 01793 378 586.

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