Can I Claim Travel Expenses For Contracting Work?

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July 14th 2020
Tax Week 15
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Can I Claim Travel Expenses For Contracting Work?

Since 2016 the government has tightened the rules so if you're technically inside IR35 or under supervision, direction or control, then no claims can be made.

Genuinely self-employed people can claim travel and expenses related to their business. Employed people who permanently work a fixed place of work, cannot claim travel and related expenses. Contracting, however, was blurring the lines - until 2016.

From 2016, the government tightened legislation so that unless it can be proven that the contractor has full autonomy of the work they are undertaking, then expense claims for travel and subsistence would be disallowed.

Prior to the 2015 UK Budget, contracts using umbrella companies were making claims for travel and lunch etc for each contracting job they undertook. The same applied for directors of PSCs who would make claims for these types of expenses.

The Budget brought in new legislation from April 2016 that restricted directors of PSCs who are inside IR35 and those contracting under an umbrella company from making travel and subsistence claims.

The Supervison, Director and Control test was put in place to put the onus on the claiming individual to prove the level of autonomy they have in the role - to essentially show that they could be deemed truly 'self employed' rather than 'employed' - and thus enjoy the benefits of claiming the 'business' expenses.

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