Claiming lunch as business expenses while traveling

Talking about such business expenses, someone could say that is a minor expense and many people don't want to mess with it, in order to claim few pounds for taxation purposes.

Definitely it sounds reasonable, but what happens when you rely on your traveling and always you have to take your lunch far away from your permanent workplace or home, especially if your business is a small growing one?

So, here we try to clarify with a short chart-flow when you can claim food and drinks, while you are out for business purposes. You will find two chart-flows - 1st for LTD companies and the 2nd one for self-employed people. And of course, you should be aware that there are no standard rules - each case is unique and something that counts for someone as expense, for other may not. The charts are intended to give you a general guidance.


"Permanent workplace" is - a workplace that a person attend regularly and which is not a “temporary workplace”. But there is a test as well, that applies in order to determine "permanent workplace" and “temporary workplace”. The main tests are:

- whether the employee is attending the workplace for a limited duration or a “temporary purpose” - whether they perform, or expect to perform their duties to a significant extent at the workplace (interpreted to mean spending over 40% of their working time there – also known as the “40% rule”) - whether they attend, or expect to attend, the workplace for more than 24 months

"Temporary workplace" is - somewhere where the employee goes only to perform a task of limited duration or for a temporary purpose and is not count as "Permanent workplace". Also, a limited duration is not always the rule that we can rely on - there are also many parameters that we need to consider!

For more analytical and accurate guidance - explanation, please visit HMRC internal manual (Employment Income Manual).

Always remember - You can only claim expenses that are “wholly and exclusively” for the purposes of trade!

© 2017 UPECO LTD



This article intends to give only a general informative picture and should not, in any case, be taken as a rule. It is strongly recommended to seek a full and professional guidance specifically for your circumstances before making any decisions.


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