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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Tax treatment of lorry drivers: mid-day meals: allowances paid by employers: amounts in excess of the approved amount

Where the conditions in EIM66140 are met, but the amounts paid in respect of mid-day meals exceed the approved amount, you should only permit a greater amount to be paid without deduction of tax if:

  • the employer opts to use the approved benchmark scale rates (see EIM30240) or
  • the employer requests scale rate payments that exceed the benchmark rates and applies for an approval notice for a bespoke scale rate having satisfactorily demonstrated that the total amount paid only reflects the average actual expenditure incurred by the drivers (see EIM30250) and
  • the employer operates a checking system to ensure that payments are only made on qualifying occasions. (see EIM30270)

If the employer pays an amount higher than the benchmark rates or bespoke rates agreed under the terms of an approval notice, the excess is subject to tax and NICs.

The onus is on the employer to take proper steps to be satisfied that expenditure of the relevant amount is actually being incurred by drivers.