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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Travel expenses: general: overseas conferences, seminars and study tours

Sections 337 to 339 ITEPA 2003

The expenses incurred by an employee in relation to an overseas conference, seminar or study tour will typically include travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs are not deductible unless:

  • they are within Section 337 ITEPA 2003 as necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of the employment, see EIM32355, or
  • they are within Section 338 and 339 ITEPA as travel to a temporary workplace, see EIM32015.

For both of these tests a common factor is that a deduction is not due unless the employee can demonstrate that attendance at the overseas conference, seminar or study tour is necessary in order to carry out the duties of the employment. This is a very restrictive test, see EIM31645. The case law discussed at EIM31955 illustrates the restrictive way in which the Courts have applied the legislation.

EIM31960 discusses the evidence you will need to tackle these cases and deals with some arguments you may encounter.

EIM31965 discusses how you can apportion expenditure if you are satisfied that the expenses are deductible but there are some private expenses.

EIM31970 discusses overseas trips provided to employees as an incentive.

EIM31975  discusses overseas trips provided by third parties.

EIM31980 discusses overseas trips on which the employee is accompanied by his or her wife or husband.

This guidance is illustrated by examples beginning at example EIM31990.