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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Tax treatment of armed forces: reserve and auxiliary forces: expenses

GeneralNecessary expenses incurred by members of the reserve and auxiliary forces are generally reimbursed by the Ministry of Defence.

Where a request for an expenses deduction is refused because the expenditure was not incurred by the reservist in the performance of his or her duties, but it apparently arose as a direct consequence of his or her service, advise the taxpayer to take up the question of any possible reimbursement with the Ministry of Defence.
### Uniform expensesIn general, no allowance for income tax purposes should be made to officers of the Army, Navy or Air Force reserves for the cost of maintaining their uniform. The annual tax-free cash allowance that they receive for that purpose should, taking one year with another, normally cover the expenditure so incurred.

However, this does not apply to members of the RAF Reserve of Officers who are in classes ‘C.C’ or ‘J’, filling certain civilian appointments. These officers are not entitled to free replacements of uniform and no annual allowance is paid for the maintenance of their uniform. Any request for a deduction should be dealt with under Section 336 ITEPA 2003, see EIM32450.

No deduction should be permitted in respect of expenditure on clothing that is not obligatory under the Service Regulations.
### Travelling expensesService Regulations provide for reimbursement of all travelling expenses, including travelling from the reservist’s home to the duty centre where this exceeds one mile.

Where a private motor vehicle is used, the regulations enable the reservist to claim the appropriate travelling allowance, provided the use of the motor vehicle has been authorised by the commanding officer. Relief for business travel in an employee’s own vehicle is given under the statutory authorised mileage allowance payments scheme, see EIM31200 onwards.
### Mess fees and entertainment expensesNo deduction can be permitted in respect of mess fees.

Certain Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve Officers receive a special allowance to cover any necessary entertainment expenses. No liability arises on them in accordance with the principle outlined in EIM01110.