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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Employment income: scale rate expenses payments: subsistence expenses: sampling guidance: expenses to be included

The guidance on this page applies for the tax years up to and including 2015 to 2016.  For tax years 2016 to 2017 onwards, the benchmark scale rates have been revised and are now included within the exemption for amounts which would otherwise be deductible. See EIM30200 onwards.

This sampling exercise was intended to determine the amount that employees were spending on allowable subsistence expenses while they were away from home on a journey whose expenses qualify for tax relief (see generally EIM31800 onwards). HMRC does not accept that the allowable expenses can include the cost of a packed lunch prepared at home from items purchased as part of the employee’s ordinary domestic shopping arrangements, or other food brought from home. The cost of sandwiches, etc, bought on the way to a temporary workplace can however be included.