What Travel & Subsistence items can I reclaim VAT on?
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If you’re VAT registered, it can seem like a minefield when you’re trying to find out what you can and can’t reclaim VAT on.
The days of the Internet haven’t helped, as it seems that every man and his dog is an expert if you ask the question in a forum or on social media.
But one of the most wooly areas seems to be that of travel and subsistence – or travel and food if we want to make it easy.
So what Travel & Subsistence is it OK to reclaim against VAT and what isn’t?
In general terms, you can reclaim VAT on T&S where a director, partner, sole proprietor or employee is away from the office (or usual place of work) for business purposes.
This could include:
- Taxi fares
- Use of a private or hire car
- Rail or air tickets (it has to be mentioned these are usually zero rated, so no VAT to reclaim)
- Meals, including breakfast
- Sandwiches or takeaway food
- Hotels, B&Bs or other accommodation
- Fuel if used only for business purposes
Hold That Claim!
Unfortunately you can’t reclaim VAT if the above items are
for business entertainment purposes or for non business use.
You can’t reclaim VAT if you pay a ‘flat rate’ expense either – you have to meet the actual cost of the expense in full or in part.
Explain That Claim
So, let’s say that you go to a conference in another town. You need to stay in a hotel as it’s too far to travel back. You drive as it’s easier than getting a train. On the way you grab a toasted sandwich for lunch.
You go to your conference for the afternoon, and that evening grab dinner in a local restaurant. As the restaurant is quite far from the hotel you get a taxi there and back.
The next day you grab breakfast and head back home. You can claim for:
- the hotel
- the petrol / diesel (depending on your method of calculating motor expenses)
- the toasted sandwich
- the taxi fare
- the restaurant bill
- the breakfast
Remember, this is only if the expenses are incurred doing business somewhere other than your usual place of work and aren’t for business entertainment purposes.
If you’re confused about what you can claim, why not give us a call on 01672 564370 or get in touch to see how we can help?