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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Travel expenses: general: overseas conferences, seminars and study tours - spouses on business trips: when to allow a deduction

Sections 336 to 339 ITEPA 2003

General guidance on the conditions that must be met before a deduction can be permitted for the expenses of an accompanying spouse is at EIM31980. Normally a deduction should only be given in the following circumstances:

  • the spouse has some special skill or qualification associated with the employee’s job that is needed on the trip, although not necessarily full time. An example is where the spouse is a competent linguist and acts as an interpreter at business meetings.
  • the presence of the spouse is essential to host a series of business entertaining occasions that the employee is required to organise as part of his or her duties. It is not enough that the couple merely attend functions at which other guests are accompanied by their spouses.
  • the employee’s health is so poor that it would be unreasonable for him or her to travel alone. Where the attendance of a spouse or other carer is necessary for the proper performance of the employee’s duties, the expenses will be covered by the existing legislation in section 338