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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Dispensations: travelling and subsistence expenses

The guidance on this page applies for the tax years up to and including 2015-16.  For tax years 2016-17 onwards dispensations have been replaced by an exemption for amounts which would otherwise be deductible. See EIM30200 onwards.

When considering applications for dispensations, refer to the following guidance: 

  • Scale rate payments and guidance on sampling techniques - [EIM05200]( onwards (see also NIM06170)
  • Benchmark scale rates – EIM05230 onwards
  • Travel in the performance of the duties of the employment – EIM32350 onwards (see also NIM06240)
  • Travel for necessary attendance: ordinary commuting, permanent and temporary workplace – EIM32000 onwards
  • Travel between places of work – EIM10010 onwards
  • Special rules for employees travelling to work outside the UK – EIM34010
  • Payments of expenses to employees using their own vehicles for business travel – EIM30058

Staying with family or friends

When an employee spends a night away from home whilst on business, he may choose to stay with a friend or relative instead of staying in a hotel.  The employee may incur the cost of an evening meal.  The employee is entitled to a deduction for a qualifying expense incurred while staying with family or friends.

With effect from 6 April 2009, you should no longer agree a scale rate payment for expenses incurred while staying with a friend or relative. Scale rate payments for staying with friends or family should be removed from existing dispensations as part of the normal process of 5 yearly reviews.