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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Travel expenses: general: accommodation and subsistence: subsistence costs that are not attributable to the travel: no permanent home: examples

Example 1

An employee performs the duties of her employment at a series of temporary workplaces. She has no permanent home. She stays in guest houses and hotels near wherever she happens to be working. This is the only accommodation available to her.

She has to live somewhere and the costs of accommodation are attributable to her general need for shelter, rather than her attendance at a particular workplace. Her travel is between her temporary accommodation and her temporary workplace. The cost of accommodation is not attributable to the cost of that travel so she is not entitled to a deduction for the cost of the accommodation.

However she is entitled to a deduction for the cost of travel between her temporary accommodation and her temporary workplace.

This is an example of an itinerant employee who has no permanent home and makes her home wherever her work happens to take her. She cannot deduct the cost of her accommodation because she incurs no additional expense. This can be contrasted with the example below of an employee on secondment who has not retained accommodation for the duration of the secondment. Such employees are not itinerant and the expense of accommodation at the temporary workplace is attributable to the business travel.

Example 2

An employee of a German company is seconded to a temporary workplace in the UK for 15 months. He sells his flat in Germany and rents a flat in the UK. When he returns to Germany he will need to find himself a new place to live.

The rent of the UK flat is attributable to the business travel and a deduction can be given for the cost.