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  • Tax relief for travel and subsistence

Tax relief for travel and subsistence

If your job requires you to travel on business you may be able to get tax relief on your travel expenses. You can go back several years to get the relief - the time you've got depends on whether you've previously sent in a Self Assessment tax return.

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When you can get tax relief for travel and subsistence costs

If you've got to make journeys for business purposes you can deduct your travelling expenses and any subsistence costs you've paid whilst on those journeys from your taxable income - so you'll pay less tax..What are business journeys

You can only get tax relief on the cost of business journeys. These are when, as part of your job:

  • you have to travel from one workplace to another - this includes travelling between your main 'permanent workplace' and a 'temporary workplace'
  • you've got to travel to or from a certain workplace because your job requires you to

Business journeys don't include:

  • ordinary commuting - when you travel between your home (or anywhere that is not a workplace) and a place which counts as a permanent workplace
  • private journeys - which have nothing to do with your job

If you're not sure if a place you travel to counts as a permanent workplace telephone HM Revenue & Customs for advice.

Contact HMRC

Travel and subsistence expenses that qualify for relief

You can't get tax relief for things that aren't directly related to the business journey - like your newspaper or private phone calls.

  • public transport fares
  • hotel accommodation where you have had to stay overnight as a part of a business journey that qualifies for tax relief
  • meals you have had to purchase whilst travelling or staying overnight
  • tolls
  • congestion charges
  • parking fees
  • business phone calls, fax or photocopying costs
  • business mileage

Business mileage

You might have to use your own car, van, motorbike or cycle to make business journeys. Your employer can give you mileage allowance payments to cover your costs - up to a certain maximum amount per mile - and you don't have to pay tax on them. If your employer doesn't pay you the maximum, you are entitled to tax relief on the difference between:

  • what your employer actually pays you for your business journeys
  • the maximum tax free amount that your employer could have paid you for those journeys

You'll need to keep good records of the business mileage you do and of the mileage allowance payments your employer gives you. You cannot get relief for your actual expenses if they are greater than the allowed maximum per mile.

Find out about tax relief on business mileage or fuel

How to get tax relief for travel and subsistence costs

To find out how you can get tax relief for your travel and subsistence costs and the time limits for getting them, read the guide 'How to get allowances and reliefs - employees or directors' by following the link below.

How to get allowances and reliefs