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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

The general rule for employees’ expenses: dealing with expenses: what evidence should be provided?

It is not normally necessary to ask an employee to submit detailed evidence ofexpenditure in the form of receipts. This is particularly the case where similar claimsare submitted each year and they have been examined and found to be acceptable in thepast. Only ask for receipts when you feel you need them.

If the amount for which the employee has requested a deduction is substantial and

  • out of proportion to the nature of the expense, or
  • based on estimates

you should ask for appropriate evidence that the expense has been incurred.

If the evidence produced is not satisfactory a deduction should not be permitted where theamounts are substantial. The onus is on the employee to show that he or she has spentidentifiable sums on deductible expenses. In the case of McLeish v CIR (38TC1) a deductionwas not permitted for certain expenses for which the employee failed to present adequateevidence.

You can accept a reasonable estimate where the evidence produced is not satisfactory butthe amounts involved are small and it is clear that the employee must have incurred somedeductible expense.