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bigduckontax, Accountant
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Madam My question relates to income tax and is in relation

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Dear Sir /Madam
My question relates to income tax and is in relation to self employed and claiming for the reasonable cost of meals while undertaking a business journey. I am aware that the rules are different for employed people. I have done some research on this and what is worrying that I am finding conflicting answers. According to the S57A Income Tax Act 2005 (BIM 47710 and BIM 37670) that I have downloaded from the HMRC website, it states that a deduction can be made for meals for self employed provided the following conditions are met
"1. The trade is itinerant ( presumably means a commercial traveller such as a salesman etc., a person whose trade is actually travelling)
2. The trader( plasterer, plumber etc who has a trade but has to travel to work) does not travel to the place more than occasionally in the course of the trade and either:
a) the trade concerned is not part of the trader's normal pattern of travel in the course of the trade; or b) the trader does not have such normal pattern of travel.
I am an accountant who has a number of CIS subcontractors. An example in one of the publications I was reading was a tradesman who regularly visits a number of sites on a permanent basis. If , say , he visits the same sites in the Manchester area on a permanent basis, as part of a fixed arrangement, then these sites collectively become a permanent place of work and therefore the mileage cannot be claimed and neither can any meals.
Another example I have read is that of , say , a computer programmer who works from home but occasionally travels to London to meet a client. Since this is not his normal pattern of travel then the mileage can be claimed along with any meals ( although I understand that he cannot claim for the cost of a meal for his client as this comes under entertaining).
If a subcontractor works at a variety of sites in the year and is constantly working at temporary places of work could it be said the each site visited is not his normal pattern of travel since , when the work at each site is completed, he moves on to a new site and works in a variety of places i.e Manchester, Liverpool , Leeds, Birmingham etc.?
The key issue seems to be ,what is the pattern of travel? If a subcontractor has a pattern of travel then he cannot claim for meals. If he has no pattern of travel then meals can be claimed. So my question is : Would a subcontractor who travels to various temporary places of work in the year at a variety of locations be able to claim that , as per the HMRC statement quoted above, he does not a have a regular pattern of travel since his travel destination changes all the time and therefore be able to claim for the reasonable cost of meals that he buys while undertaking such journeys?
Thank you
Regards
Steve
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 6 months ago.

Hello, Steve, I am Keith one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

I concur with your interpretation. If a self employed person does not a have a regular pattern of travel since his travel destination changes all the time a claim for the reasonable cost of meals that he buys while undertaking such journeys is allowable. Of course, if he is employed that is an entirley different kettle of fish as an employed person can only have one place of duty and any travel therefrom is allowable.

I do hope that you have found my reply of assistance.

bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3109
Experience: FCCA FCMA CGMA ACIS
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Expert:  bigduckontax replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your support.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 6 months ago.

And also the kind bonus.

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