Friday, 19 April 2013

Mileage allowances

Travelling expenses

The Inland Revenue (HMRC) have guidelines when it comes to paying motor expenses. The basic concept is that no tax relief is available for ‘ordinary commuting’, i.e. an employee travelling between their home and their permanent workplace. A permanent workplace is a place an employee regularly goes to work unless it is for a limited duration or for some other temporary purpose.

Temporary workplace

An exception to this is where the employee travels to a workplace that is not the usual place of work, or a temporary workplace. HMRC refers to people who have no permanent workplace, by referring to them as ‘site based’ employees and now accepts that such employees have no ordinary commuting journeys between home and their temporary workplace.

Where the employee’s contract of employment requires him to work from home so that home is the normal workplace, then the employee is entitled to relief for all journeys between home and any other places of work.

In order for a workplace to qualify as ‘temporary’, the employee must expect to be working there for 24 months or less. As long as this is the case, the journey from the employee’s home to the site is not ordinary commuting and the employee is entitled to tax relief for the full costs of the journey. After 24 months then it will become a permanent workplace and the employee is entitled to no tax relief on all of their travel expenses.

Where at first, an employee expects to be at a site for 24 months or less, but this subsequently changes and he becomes aware that he will be working there for longer then, at that point, the site becomes a permanent workplace on the day that the employee becomes aware of the change. From that date onwards, he is no longer entitled to tax relief on the travelling expenses, but he is entitled to tax relief from home to site before that date.

Mileage rates

The mileage rates that can be paid are claimed at the rate of 45 pence per mile for cars and vans, for the first 10,000 miles in a year, any additional miles are claimed at a rate of 25 pence per mile. A table of mileage rates can be found below.

First 10,000 miles
Miles above 10,000
Motor cars and vans
45 pence per mile
25 pence per mile
24 pence per mile
24 pence per mile
20 pence per mile
20 pence per mile
If you are employed and your employer pays you more than the above rates, then the excess payment is counted as a benefit in kind and will be liable for tax. If you are paid less by an employer, you could get some additional tax relief.

It is important to keep a  detailed log of your journeys and mileage claimed as HMRC may require access to the information.

There are other expenses that can be claimed, such as parking, congestion charges and tolls, but you must have the original receipts to back up your claim. You cannot claim tax relief for parking fines or speeding fines.

If you are working at a temporary workplace, then you can also claim amounts for subsistence and accommodation expenses caused by working at the temporary workplace.

As with the other expenses, always be sure to keep receipts as evidence of your claims, as HMRC may request to see them.

If you feel that any of the above is relevant to you and you would like to claim the relief but not sure how, just give me a call and I will be happy to help.


No comments:

Post a Comment