HMRC have updated their guidance on employees’ travel and subsistence in booklet 490, available on the Gov.uk website. The publication provides numerous examples illustrating which journeys do and do not qualify as business journeys and are eligible for tax relief.
No tax relief is available for ordinary commuting or private journeys. Ordinary commuting is where the employee travels to their normal workplace, however, where he or she travels to a temporary workplace then the journey qualifies as business travel.
A temporary workplace is a place where it expected that the employee will work for a period not exceeding 24 months and then usually return to the normal workplace after the temporary posting. A temporary workplace can also be a place where the employee works no more than 40% of their time even where this may be for a period exceeding 24 months. So an employee working at another location for no more than 2 days a week (out of 5 days) could treat that location as a temporary workplace.
Booklet 490 also confirms that where the journey counts as a business journey then any reasonable subsistence costs such as hotels and meals would also qualify for tax relief.