Allowable travel expenses when working from home

Case law identifies when individuals can make claims for travelling between places of work because this can be a minefield, but one in which HM Revenue and Customs takes an acute interest, writes Vanessa Sanders.

When employees work at home full time, the employer should be able to re-imburse any work travel as free from tax. 

It becomes less clear for those who work at home and other regular places of work. 

Unless the employee is required to start work at home and then travel to another site, travel between home and work is usually classed as ordinary commuting and so is not allowed to be re-imbursed tax-free. 

This is because there is a dual purpose to any journey between home and work – that purpose is to live away from work. 

HMRC provides some examples of when travel can be treated as tax-free or claimed in a tax return and when it cannot.

If you re-imburse travel, it should be either as a direct re-imbursement supported by receipts for public transport; and at 45p per mile (first 10,000 miles) and 25p thereafter, supported by petrol receipts and a travel log when travelling by car.

Vanessa Sanders is a partner with Stanbridge Associates, accountancy, finance and tax advisory medical specialists