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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Tax treatment of local authority officials and employees: travelling and subsistence allowances

There are no special tax arrangements for payments to employees of local authorities, either for using their own car for work or for other travelling and subsistence payments.

All mileage allowance payments are dealt with under the statutory approved mileage allowance payments (AMAPs) scheme. Full guidance is at EIM31200 onwards.

Background information, 1997/98 onwards

With effect from 1 April 1997 the Scheme of Conditions of Service operated by local authorities was altered, with greater discretion over the reimbursement of expenditure on travel and subsistence being delegated to individual local authority employers.

Centrally agreed rates of reimbursement for subsistence were no longer published, although some local authority employers use the former method to uprate subsistence rates.

Different local authority employers use the subsistence rates in different ways. For example:

  • some employers may reimburse actual, receipted expenditure, subject to a maximum amount
  • some employers continue to reimburse at flat rates.

You can agree a dispensation (except for mileage allowance payments dealt with under the AMAPs scheme, for which dispensations are not appropriate) for reimbursements made under the first of these methods provided the associated journeys are business travel, see EIM31815. For reimbursements under the second method, follow the guidance in the first paragraph of EIM30057.