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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Travelling expenses: employees working but not domiciled in the United Kingdom: the 5 year limit and meaning of qualifying arrival date

Section 375 ITEPA 2003

The deductions described at EIM35030 and EIM35050 can only be given for journeys undertaken within a period of five years beginning with a date that is a qualifying arrival date in relation to the employee.


A date is a qualifying arrival date in relation to a person if:-

  • it is a date on which the person arrives in the United Kingdom to perform duties of an employment from which the person receives earnings for duties performed in the United Kingdom and either condition A or condition B is met:
    • condition A - the person has not been in the United Kingdom for any purpose during the period of two years ending the day before that date
    • condition B - the person was not resident in the United Kingdom in either of the two tax years preceding the tax year in which the date falls (see example below).

Conditions A and B apply separately. An employee may achieve a qualifying arrival dateby satisfying either one or the other.

Points to note regarding condition B

Where an employee satisfies condition B in respect of more than one arrival in a taxyear, the date of the earliest arrival will be the qualifying arrival date.

Condition B requires the employee to be not resident in either of the two tax years that precede the year of arrival not both.

Employees who do not become resident in the United Kingdom in the tax years in which they come to perform duties in the United Kingdom may have a qualifying arrival date in each tax year in which they come.


Condition B is linked to tax years whereas condition A is not. Thus an employee can be resident in the United Kingdom in 2003/04 but have a qualifying arrival in 2005/06 because he or she was not in the United Kingdom at all between 1 February 2004 and 31 January 2006. On the other hand, an employee may not be resident in the United Kingdom even if he or she spends some time here, for example on holiday. So he or she may still qualify under condition B if debarred by condition A.

More than one 5 year period

An employee can have more than one qualifying arrival date. For example, an American could work in the United Kingdom for five years from 2006 and for another five years from 2011. Provided that either of the qualifying arrival date conditions was met before each of these periods of service, the employee could get deductions for their own and their family’s travelling expenses in both periods.