22.01.20 Home to work mileage, what can I claim?

Home to work mileage

We often have clients asking us about claiming home to work mileage. It can be confusing to understand, so we put together this blog post to help make it clearer.

The rules can be broken down as follows:

Home to work mileage

The length of time you can claim mileage is determined by two things. Partly by the length of contract you have with your client and partly the length of time you expect to be at the same place of work.

We can best illustrate this by example. If you have a new 12 month contract you can claim mileage for the commute for the 12 month period. If you then renew the contract with another 12 month contract then at month 12 of the first contract you then expect to be at that same place of work for 24 months. You have to stop claiming the allowance at the end of month 12 (the point in time your expectation arises) not when you get to 24 months. If the renewal contract was for, say, 6 months then you could claim for the 18 month period.

If, on the other hand, the contract expires at month 12 and the business starts a brand new contract elsewhere then the 24 month clock starts at zero again.

Site-based worker

If you work at various sites, then you need to look at your main place of work to determine your home to work mileage.

The first relevant definition is ‘main place of work’. This is where you spend 40% or more of your working time. If you have a main place of work this means that your daily commute to and from it is not deductable (subject to the 24 month rule above).  You can however claim travel cost going from your main place of work to other places of work.

The second definition is ‘a site based worker’. A site based worker is someone who does not expect to be at the same place of work for more than 24 months. If you meet this definition, then the commute is deductable. This rule is however unusual as it all hangs on the word “expect” (as above).

If you do not have a main place of work, i.e. not one job that is more than 40% of your working time, then the above rules do not apply and you can claim all home to work mileage.

Working away from home

If your home is Aberdeen and you obtain a contract in Glasgow then the above 24 month rule applies to your travel from Aberdeen on the Monday morning to Glasgow and back home on the Friday night. Plus you could claim your accommodation expenses too.

As usual, if you have any questions about home to work mileage, please feel free to contact us.