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Overnight subsistence (meal costs)

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You are able to claim subsistence for the amounts quoted below while staying away at a temporary workplace on business; this will usually cover the cost of an evening meal with reasonable alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee and soft drinks between meals.

Following recent consultation with HMRC, subsistence not relating to an overnight stay at a temporary workplace is not allowable as a tax deductible expense. The ‘duality of purpose’ argument here is that you are expected to ‘eat to live’ and not ‘eat to work’

  • Up to £5 per day if you work more than 5 but less than 7 hours per day (excluding travel time and lunch breaks) 
  • Up to £9.50 per day if you work more than 7 but less than 10 hours per day (including travel time and excluding lunch breaks)
  • Up to £15 per day if you work more than 10 hours per day (including travel time and excluding lunch breaks) 

As with other expenses, receipts for subsistence do need to be submitted along with your expense claim. Please note that you can only claim the exact amount that you have actually incurred on your subsistence expenses, not a round sum of £5, £9.50 or £15 per day.

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