What, no receipts?
The world doesn’t collapse, the sun will still shine (somewhere), and hopefully you will still be alive tomorrow. OK, so it is a problem for record keeping, but HMRC do have a wee little answer to this – mainly for employees, but potentially could be used for the self-employed if needs must.
This is all about scale rate benchmark expenses. These rates have been in place since 6th April 2009 and so far there have not been any changes. It allows for an amount to be claimed whilst out on business and away from the normal/permanent workplace for a meal based on the number of hours worked to that time.
|Description||Amount – up to|
|One meal (5 hour rate)||£5|
|Two meals (10 hour rate)||£10|
|Late evening meal rate||£15|
There are times that with the best will in the world, it’ll be hard to find meals for these prices. Even MacDonald meals are coming in at over £5. Of course, there are rules around these scale rates, and most of the below is copied from the HMRC website:
Breakfast Rate: An employee has to leave home earlier than usual and prior to 6am, and then buys breakfast after starting his/her journey. If they normally leave the home before 6am, then no allowance can be claimed. These are for exceptional circumstances and not as part of the normal work pattern.
The Late Evening Meal is the reverse where the employee has to work longer hours than usual and finished after 8pm having already worked his normal day. The meal needs to be purchased before the qualifying journey ends. These are for exceptional circumstances and not as part of the normal work pattern.
One meal (5 hour) rate – The rate may be paid where the employee has been undertaking qualifying travel for a period of at least 5 hours and has incurred the cost of a meal.
Two meal (10 hour) rate – The rate may be paid where the employee has been undertaking qualifying travel for a period of at least 10 hours and has incurred the cost of a meal or meals.
The additional rule is that there can only be a maximum of three meals claimed in a 24hour period and a meal can only be paid for once. For example, if you are booked into a hotel on a Bed & Breakfast rate but have to leave the hotel before breakfast is open, you cannot claim the breakfast charge as it has already been covered by the room rate.
Putting these rates into operation may help your bookkeeping and the amount of paper floating round the office.
This article is intended to give general knowledge and thought provokers. It is not designed to be a replacement for professional advice tailored to your exacting needs and circumstances. We cannot give advice to anybody not a client of Herrington Accounting Services or Performance Accountancy, therefore please take advise from your own Accountant. Herrington Accounting services & Performance Accountancy can accept no liability for decisions made or losses incurred through failure to properly consider professional advice or through reliance on this general guide.