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General Criteria for Claiming Expenses through Umbrella:

  1. The expense must be wholly and exclusively incurred for business purposes
  2. Employees must retain the original receipt (except where certain claims don’t have receipts like Mileage)
  3. If there is a name shown on the receipt, it must be the employee’s name

Expenses Covered in this Document

  1. Travel
  2. Subsistence
  3. Clothing
  4. Computers
  5. Training Courses & Books
  6. Professional Body Membership Fees
  7. Journals and Magazines
  8. Postage, Stationery & Equipment
  9. Telecommunications
  10. Eye Tests
  11. Business Trips
  12. Relocation Expenses
  13. Donations to Charities
  14. Rent
  15. Utilities

Before travel, subsistence and mileage expenses will be allowable as a deduction against tax, the place of work must qualify as a temporary workplace. If you only work on a single assignment, without the anticipation that there will be further assignments, your workplace will be regarded as permanent for these expense types and they will not be allowable against tax.

If you are travelling from home to your contract then this is subject to the ‘24 month rule’. This states that travel from home to work is only allowable as a tax-deductible expense for as long as you believe your contract will not exceed 24 months. For example, you have a contract for seven months that is renewed again and again.

If you have your contract renewed for a third time then you would come under the 24 month rule and AT THAT POINT (21 months with your client) the travel expenses from home to work cease to become tax deductible. Where you fall outside the ’24 month rule’, then travel between your home, or any other place that is not a workplace, is not allowable.

Unreceipted Expenses Subsistence

Where you are unable to obtain a receipt, and you are working at a temporary workplace but are not staying overnight, then a meal allowance can be claimed on the following basis –

  • Up to £6.50 per day for breakfast if your travel commences before 6.30am
  • Up to £6.50 if you work at least 5 hours a day,
  • Up to £14 if you work more than 10 hours a day.

Accommodation
Where you are unable to obtain a receipt, an allowance will be paid in respect of accommodation, meals and incidental subsistence costs, at the following rates:

  1. Up to £45 per night when staying within the UK and Eire but outside the M25
  2. Up to £55 per night when staying within the M25
  3. Up to £65 per night when staying outside the UK and Eire.
  4. We do recommend that you keep all receipts for evidence just incase you are asked to provide proof to HMRC that you incurred the expense

Mileage
Mileage can be claimed for business related travel including to and from your home to your place of work, subject to the 24 month rule above. The following rate are applicable (A spreadsheet is available to help with claiming this expense and recording your start place and end place for each journey – please contact this office if you require this.)

Receipted Expenses
Subsistence
Where you are staying away from home then you can claim for the cost of a receipted evening meal (c. £15 - £26).
Meals can also be claimed where your work takes you away from home over a ‘normal’ meal time. For example, you have to work or travel until 9pm, you could then claim the cost of an evening meal.

Accommodation
Where you need to work away from home because of your contract then you can claim for the cost of the accommodation and breakfast, supported by receipts subject to the following limits

  1. £110 per night staying within the M25
  2. £90 per night outside the M25
  3. £120 per night outside the UK and Eire

Where you have receipted expenditure on accommodation, an un- receipted allowance may be paid in respect of meals and other incidental expenses, when you are staying away from home of

  1. Up to £20 per night when staying within the UK and Eire or
  2. Up to £30 per night when staying outside the UK and Eire.

Incidentals
The maximum cost of incidental expenses of £5 per day in the UK and £10 per day if overseas can be claimed, for each evening that you have to stay away from home. This is to cover costs such as laundry, personal telephone calls and newspapers. Receipts for these do not have to be provided, but this is not a round sum allowance. Expenses in this category should be separately identified as incidental expenses.

Rented Accommodation
Where the accommodation is rented, then the cost (including gas, electricity, council tax, but excluding water rates) can be reclaimed provided that you maintain and continue payment for a main residence elsewhere in the UK, to which you return each weekend. A copy of the rental agreement and receipts for the payment of the rent must accompany the claim. Where you do not return to your main residence at weekends, then you can only claim 5/7 of the cost of the rental accommodation each week.

Friends or Family
Where you are staying with friends or family, you can claim £25 per night (no other allowances to be claimed) as a friends and family allowance. You will need to provide us with name, address and tel. number of the place where you are staying and the relevant date.

Rail, Bus, Parking and Air travel
Rail, Bus and air travel to your place of work can be claimed, but receipts are required.
Parking costs can also be claimed at the most economic rate. Again receipts are required.

Telephone
Only the cost of business calls on your private telecommunication system may be claimed. This includes mobiles and Internet access. Where a separate telecommunication system is used exclusively for business purposes, then the full cost of this may be claimed (including rental/standing charges).

Subscriptions
Those that are necessary for you to gain and maintain your professional standing are allowable. e.g. to professional bodies. For a list of allowable professional subscriptions, please visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/list3/list3.pdf

Stationery and books
Where these are used wholly, necessarily and exclusively in the performance of your duties then they are allowable. Receipts must be provided.

Eyesight Test
Where an eyesight test is necessary for the initial or continued use of visual display equipment on your assignment, then a claim of up to £15 towards the costs of the eyesight test can be made. A receipt must be provided from a qualified optician.

Computer Hardware and Software
Computer Hardware and software are allowable where it can be proved that it is essential to your job. A maximum of £500 p.a. can be claimed. We will require a receipt for the full amount of the costs, even if the receipt is for over £500.

Training
Only certain types of training are tax deductible. For training to qualify as tax deductible it has to be undertaken as necessary for you to complete in order to continue your work for the company. If the training is undertaken to progress your career or improve your skills then this would not qualify as it is considered to be a personal benefit (under a contract that is within IR35, this can not be claimed).

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