Tax treatment of lorry drivers: meals: evidence required
Sections 337 and 338 ITEPA 2003
Where you decide that a deduction for meals can be permitted in principle you will need to obtain appropriate evidence to calculate the amount of the deduction. If the evidence produced is not satisfactory a deduction should not be permitted where the amounts are substantial. The onus is on the employee to show that he or she has spent identifiable sums on deductible expenses. In the case of McLeish v CIR (38TC1) a deduction was not permitted for certain expenses for which the employee failed to present adequate evidence. Determine the final amount of any deduction for a particular year by reference to the expenditure for meals shown by bills, receipts, etc., submitted by the employee, less any contribution in cash or otherwise from the employer. Estimated amounts should normally be excluded from the computation and no flat-rate allowance on the lines indicated in EIM66140 should be given.
Examine cases individually. Do not apply the results of a review of a small sample of cases to all the drivers employed by one employer.
Most cafes and restaurants employing staff will give customers at least a till receipt and so there should normally be no difficulty in obtaining vouchers for expenditure. Where, exceptionally, bills or receipts are not given, you may accept a personal record (for example a diary) showing the place visited, the date of the visit and the amount of expense incurred, but only for small amounts and as an occasional substitute for bills or receipts, not as a driver’s sole record.
It is not necessary to obtain log books or work schedules from employers to establish the number of days of absence from home and the permanent workplace unless there are doubts about the adequacy of the evidence provided. Employers are required by law to retain completed log books for 12 months, although some employers keep them for longer.