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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Travel expenses: travel for necessary attendance: safeguards against abuse: the necessary attendance rule

Section 339(1) ITEPA 2003A workplace is defined by Section 339(1) ITEPA 2003 to mean a place at which the employee’s attendance is necessary in the performance of his or her duties, see

EIM32055. This means that a deduction for the cost of travel to a temporary workplace will only be due where the employee can demonstrate that his or her attendance at that place was necessary on that occasion, in a real sense, to perform the duties of that employment.

Usually the position will be straightforward and the requirement of the duties will be identical to the requirements of the employer. However, the strict test for a deduction is that the travel must be dictated by the duties of the employment. A deduction is only due where the travel or the attendance is an objective requirement of those duties, see EIM31647. T he personal convenience of the employee, or the employer, is not the factor that determines whether a deduction is due, see example EIM32271.

A deduction is only available where the employee has to attend a temporary workplace on that particular occasion in order to carry out the duties of the employment, see example EIM32272.

There will be cases where the position is not clear cut. You should closely examine any case where an employee appears to have been sent by his or her employee to a temporary workplace just to get a deduction for travel expenses.