Daily subsistence rate for employees when working away from the office
Employees travelling on business need to eat. Keeping track of claims for expenses for meals taken whilst working away from the office can involve a lot extra effort. 
You can simplify matters by telling HMRC you will pay a standardised daily subsistence rate to your employees when they work out of the office. 
These tax-free and NIC-free rates for business trips within the UK are easy to remember: 
£5 for leaving home earlier than usual before 6am; 
£5 for being away for at least 5 hours; 
£10 for being away for at least 10 hours; and 
£15 for finishing work later than usual after 8pm. 
The employee is expected to purchase food or drink whilst working away but you do not have to check the receipts before paying the standardised subsistence rate. You can of course reimburse the actual cost of a meal if it is supported by receipts. When an employee travels overseas the receipt chasing can reach a new level of difficulty. Fortunately HMRC have drawn up standard subsistence and accommodation rates which you can use to reimburse the costs employees incur while travelling outside the UK. 
There are no standardised rates for overnight accommodation within the UK; that must be paid according to the actual costs incurred. 

Questions or queries? 

Please do let us know if you have any questions or if you need any further help understanding the rules. – please call us on 01932 564098 or message us here. 

Information correct at time of publication 

This article was produced in June 2019 – please always check with Fuller Spurling that information is current, up to date and applicable to your situation. 
Tagged as: NIC, Subsistence, Tax
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