Travelling and Tax


If you are an employee, you cannot claim tax relief on the cost of travel between your home and your normal place of work. There are exceptions to this general rule, however.
Travel costs from your home to a temporary place of work can be claimed for a maximum of 24 months. However, travel to a new place of work (i.e. where the likelihood from the outset is that you will work for more than 24 months at the new workplace) is not allowable. Similarly, if within the 24-month period you know that the secondment will exceed 24 months, the availability of tax relief ceases as soon as you are aware that the 24-month limit will be exceeded.
However, where presence at the other place of work is less then 40 per cent of your working time, tax relief on the travel costs to the secondary place of work is available as long as the secondment lasts. This is, in effect, the same as the position where travel between two places of work (or to attend training or an appointment elsewhere) is required by the same employer. Such travel is allowable for tax relief.
If you are an employee working from home, the cost of travel from home to somewhere else for work-related purposes is allowable.
The Self-Employed
If you are self-employed, you can claim for any travel expense which is required by your trade provided that the business element can be separated from any private element. In practice, where travel has a ‘dual function’ (i.e. is both business and private travel), the cost of travel is apportioned for business and private purposes.
This requires the keeping of appropriate records of travel. With car users, a mileage log is usual, or a log can be made of business mileage only. A record of the vehicles used is also usual.
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