Self Employed Travel Expenses

As a self-employed trader, do you diligently record the mileage for every business journey you take? This attention to detail is necessary to convince HMRC that the cost of the journey is tax deductible. There are several apps which can help you with this, such as Quickbooks, Freeagent and Xero.

The question is: where does your business journey start? HMRC will argue that your work only starts when you reach your customer’s site and any business activities performed at your home-office are irrelevant. This would restrict your allowable travel costs to journeys between your customers and deny travel expenses for travelling from your home to the first customer of the day.

The key to claiming for journeys commencing at your home is to show that your business is truly based there. Are there business activities which can only be done at your home-office? It is a good idea to record the time you spend on activities at your home-office and what you were doing, eg contacting suppliers or drawing up quotes.

Once you have established the number of miles which qualify as business journeys you can claim 45p for each mile driven up to the first 10,000 miles and 25p per mile for any additional miles in the tax year. Alternatively, you can claim a proportion of your total motoring expense that relates to business miles compared to total mileage driven in the year.