Travel expenses: travel for necessary attendance: employees who work at home
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Sections 337 to 339 ITEPA 2003
Travel between an employee’s home and a permanent workplace is “ordinary commuting” and the expenses of such journeys do not qualify for relief under Section 338 ITEPA 2003, see EIM32150 onwards. That rule applies even when the employee does some of their work at home, and even if you accept that they are entitled to relief under Section 336 for the additional expenses of working at home, see EIM32760.
In Kirkwood v Evans (74TC481, see EIM32374) Mr Evans worked athome for four days a week under a voluntary homeworking scheme. The court confirmed thateven though Mr Evans’s home was a “workplace” his journey to his employer’s premises on one day a week was nevertheless “ordinary commuting” and so did not qualify for relief under Section 338.
Note though that if the employee’s home is accepted to be a workplace for tax purposes the employee may possibly be entitled to relief under Section 337 ITEPA 2003 for the expenses of travelling from home to a permanent workplace in respect of the same employment. Such journeys may count as travelling “in the performance of the duties” of the employment, see EIM32351 onwards. However, if an employee’s home is a workplace for only part of their working time a deduction can be permitted for the cost of travel between home and a permanent workplace only during those times that the employee’s home is a workplace. This is illustrated by example EIM32173.
Employees who work at home are of course entitled to a deduction under Section 338 for the expenses of travelling to a temporary workplace in the same way as any other employee.
An employee is not entitled to a deduction for the cost of travel between home and any places attended for reasons other than work, for example a holiday cottage. Such travel is private travel, see EIM32180.