Travel and subsistence (Self-employed).


Business travel and related subsistence  and accommodation expenses are usually allowable for tax purposes. Consider the type of journey, the  trades and where the business is run. Where a journey is both business and private then claim the business element only. Travel from home can be claimed where you are based from home. HMRC may resist a claim if there is another operational base or bases (hospital, office, shop, yard, sales area etc).

For subcontractors, HMRC may insist that the operational base is the site where work is undertaken. Ensure contracts/paperwork are undertaken made from home and tools are stored there.


Accommodation expenses must wholly and exclusively incurred for the purposes of the trade or profession. Where there is some private use a deduction cannot be claimed unless the business element can be clearly identified.

Subsistence (food and drink).

This can be claimed with business travel where the destination is outside the normal pattern. The claim must be reasonable and supported by receipts. HMRC will seek to disallow expenses where there is no evidence that the expense has been incurred.


The cost of entertaining yourself, clients, customers or third parties for business purposes is specifically disallowed.


Published 13 September 2017.

Updated 15 October 2017.