Allowance when working away from home

You might not be aware of all of the allowances offered to you when you work away from home. We’ll take you through each allowance when working away from home so you understand your rights.
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Travel expenses

Working away from home naturally leads to travel expenses. This is something you can claim back from HMRC. Any travel by car, bus, train, tube or ferry can be claimed back if you’re travelling for work. You’ll need to keep your receipts and fill in a form for the tax man that states your start point, your destination and the reason for travelling. To claim back your travel costs, you’ll need to show that your assignment is temporary as HMRC don’t allow workers to claim back the cost of their regular daily commute.

Meal allowances

Meal allowances are a great way of keeping your costs down when you travel as a contractor. For them to qualify as a valid expense, you need to be working at a remote location that’s away from your normal site of business. When you stay away from home overnight, you can also claim the meal allowance. However, if you’re a contractor you can’t claim for your regular daily meals as they don’t qualify as an “allowable expense”.

Limited companies

Contractors who have a limited company can only deduct food expenses when they have receipts. That’s only when your work commitments force you to “eat out” because you can’t get home to eat. Again, you’ll need your receipts. If HMRC question your returns in the future, you’ll need the receipts to back up the figures you submitted to them.


To summarise all that, a contractor who makes trips for business which qualify for tax relief can claim for a meal allowance as the food was an “unavoidable extra expense” of having to travel away from work. The worker can only claim for travel cost if the trip is not part of a regular daily commute. If you’d like more information on the subject or if you have any other questions about tax, why not visit HMRC at hmrc.gov.uk.

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