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Tax relief on travel expenses if you are working from home

HMRC has had clarified the rules with regards to tax relief on travel expenses for employees who work from home.

With the growth of flexible working contracts, HMRC has said that ‘under such arrangements, the employee will have a base office and journeys from home to that location will be ordinary commuting’. So, these trips will not be eligible for tax relief.

 

What about tax relief on usual travel expenses?

Whether or not an employee’s home is a workplace doesn’t affect the availability of tax relief for other travel expenses.

But, travel expenses from home to a permanent workplace will only qualify for tax relief if the journey qualifies as travel in the performance of the duties of the employment.

In HMRC’s words: ‘Even though it may have been accepted that the employee’s home is a workplace, it does not necessarily follow that they’ll be entitled to tax relief for the cost of travel between their home and a permanent workplace.’

‘For most people, the place where they live is a matter of personal choice. So the expense of travelling from home to any other place is a consequence of that personal choice, not an objective requirement of their job.’

 

When might HMRC accept the home as a workplace?

HMRC have confirmed that where an employee performs ‘substantive duties of their employment at home as an objective requirement of the job, that they may accept their home as a workplace for the purposes of the ‘travelling in the performance of the duties’ rule’.

Where this is the case the employee will be entitled to tax relief for the expenses of travelling from home to other workplaces as their travel is in the performance of their duties.

HMRC has stressed that ‘We will not accept that working at home is an objective requirement of the job if the employer provides appropriate facilities in another location that could be practically used by the employee, or the employee works from home as a matter of choice.’

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Disclaimer

The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.

Tax
Posted by Cowgills
1st May, 2024
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