Can I Claim? Business Travel (Yes It Still Exists!)

As the business world opens up and we start to attend more meetings in person, here’s a reminder of some of the travel expenses we can claim on our tax return.

Business travel abroad

Wherever you are in the world, travel expenses can be claimed as long as they meet the HMRC rule of being ‘wholly and exclusively’ for business purposes and there is no personal benefit in the cost. As always, it is vital to keep your receipts or invoices and if you are unsure of which exchange rate to use, take the amount from your bank account to keep things simple.

Transport costs for business-related journeys are allowable including additional costs such as excess baggage claims as long as there is no personal element.  Other expenses that can be claimed include toll roads, bus and taxi fares and car-parking tickets. Car hire in the UK or abroad, specifically for business purposes, is an allowable expense and the hire costs and fuel can be claimed.

Accommodation costs

Claiming the cost of your hotel or longer-term accommodation whilst on a business related travel is allowable. Whilst staying overnight on a business trip or for work-related training, you are entitled to claim an incidental overnight expenses allowance set by HMRC to allow for additional costs which are classified as personal expenses and aren’t otherwise allowable.

HMRC Overnight Expenses Allowance rates are £5 per night in the UK and £10 per night overseas and no receipts need to be produced to claim this. If you are staying overnight on a business trip, meals are an allowable expense as long as they have been purchased after the journey began. As always, claims must be supported by valid receipts.

HMRC accepts that reasonable costs of alcoholic beverages with a meal may be claimed. Where you have dined with work associates, only the proportion of the total cost that pertains to you as the director is allowable unless the purpose of the meal is business entertaining.  Appropriate identification and explanation of the receipts must be provided in English when submitted in relation to meals overseas.

Mileage calculators

A good mileage app to track your business journeys is a helpful tool. Mileage trackers work out your distances and log them in a tax-friendly way that can be used on your return. An app will use GPS to record your journey when the car is moving but double check the distances for accuracy.

There are plenty of mileage tracker app options available but do your research as some are more suitable for different ways of recording and have features that might be useful for your business. Accounting software such as Quickbooks has a built-in mileage tracker so you may already have access. Some of the other most popular apps are:

  • Stride
  • TripLog
  • MileIQ
  • Hurdl

If you have any questions about what travel expenses you can and can’t claim, please call the friendly experts at CRM on 01865 379272 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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