subsistence expenses and allowances

A Guide to HMRC Subsistence Expenses and Allowances!

If you are residing in the UK, it is allowed for you to make a claim on the expenses of your business and this comes under the term, subsistence allowance according to HMRC.  But what are subsistence expenses and allowances to be exact? What includes in the list of subsistence allowance and what does not include?

Are you wondering how can you start the process to make a claim? This guide will help you to learn the introductory explanation of HMRC subsistence expenses and allowances and how it works.


Get in touch with one of our professionals to learn more about subsistence expenses and allowance. We will love to hear out your queries and provide instant solutions. 


HMRC Subsistence Expenses and Allowances

Subsistence expenses and allowances refer to the self-sustained act that too for a basic level. So we can say in simple words that the day-to-day stuff required to go through your routine is considered subsistence expenses. In case you are carrying out a business, the business-related expenses per diem are known as the meal allowance as well. This involves the inexpensive costs of the things like drink and food when you are on road for the business purpose.

Furthermore, the professionals related to business travel expenses, clearly have an idea about the changing of these rates and it all depends on the travel location and the seniority of employees. If such expenses are related to the business purpose and the cost involved is designated as a business cost, there is no requirement of paying tax on such expenses by the owner. This leads to cost-saving factors. If there is any VAT spent in such a case, you are allowed to claim that amount of money.


HMRC Subsistence Allowances – How Does It Work?

The good news is that HMRC has provided information about subsistence allowance that involves details more than the meals and focuses on the expenses like phone calls, congestion charges, tolls, parking charges etc. There is a set of rules and conditions set by HMRC in this regard, which can guide you on how to make a claim back on the amount of money spent on the above-mentioned expenses. This can be searched with the term scale rate payments while you seek this information provided by HMRC.

The required stipulation to make a claim about the meal expenses include the following:

  • The travelling journey must of 5 hours travelling time that is taking away the employee from his usual workplace.
  • The commute must be due to the reason of business and it should be out with the usual commute as well.
  • The amount of money spent on meals and drinks will be only entertained if they are after the business trip has started.

According to the updated terms and conditions, there is no such requirement by HMRC to collect the cost incurred receipts of each detail of your business journey. This has ensured to reduce the working with the paperwork for the finance team as well as the business owners.

A common practice is just the demand of business trip according to the days and the request include the details of the employee and the days of business trips. A fixed amount is then given to the relevant employee. In case an employee consumes three meals a day during business travel, one of the meal receipts is enough evidence to make a claim. This will be enough to fulfil the requirements of what HMRC demands in such a scenario.


HMRC Domestic Subsistence Allowance Rates

An exact amount of money that is allowed to claim back at the year-end according to HMRC, is considered as a part of the subsistence allowance. The updated information about this matter is provided by HMRC on the official website as well. This way you will be ensured to access the updated information.

The rate of meal allowance in the UK for business travelling is as given in the following:

  • £5 is the set amount in case you are on a business trip for five hours or more than that.
  • £10 is the amount of allowance if you are on a business trip for ten hours or more than that.
  • £25 is the amount of allowance if you are on a business trip for twelve hours or more than that.


The Bottom Line

Now that you have gathered a fair amount of information about subsistence expenses and allowances, we can bring the discussion towards wrapping up. We can sum up by saying that the amount you get by claiming the cost of expenses during your travel journey can be a lot beneficial and is a great saving tip as well. It is vital to realise the amount of money you will receive in this allowance.

However, the required documentation is to be taken under serious consideration if you aim to make a successful claim, otherwise, HMRC will not grant any favour in this regard. We hope you will be able to claim the business journey cost after reading this few minutes read promptly.


Call or request a callback to speak to one of our professionals to discuss your queries about subsistence expenses and allowance. We are available from 9:00 am – 05:30 pm Monday to Friday. 


Disclaimer: The information about subsistence expenses and allowances provided in this blog includes text and graphics in general. This does not intend to disregard any of the professional advice.

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