Trying to figure out what you can and can’t claim as expenses?

We thought we’d put some information together so you can clearly see what you can and can’t legitimately claim for. Click on the area you would like to find out more about below:


There are several categories for submitting accommodation costs, here’s how they all stack up:

  • All accommodation claims (hotels/B&B’s) must be accompanied by a scanned copy or picture of your receipt.
  • In addition to the accommodation, you may also claim up to a further £5 per night for personal incidental expenses (such as toiletries) or up to £10 per night if you are temporarily outside of the UK whilst on assignment.
  • If you’re claiming accommodation rental costs, your rental agreement must be the original, signed copy and meet HMRC Dual Purpose rules, which means that you are already maintaining a property and are renting a second property for the purpose of your assignment, stating that you’re only claiming for the working week (i.e. 5 days out of 7).


You can claim travel expenses for a range of different transportation methods covering trains, planes & automobiles – even bicycles.


You can currently claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 business miles you travel in your car each year and then 25p per mile after that. This mileage includes travelling to and from home and temporary locations and between different sites. Of course, you need to get valid VAT receipts for fuel and these must be sent to us with your claim each week or month. When you submit your claim online, you can upload pictures or scanned copies of the receipts directly to My Parasol.

Reasonable car hire charges can also be claimed when used solely for business during the working week. So if you are hiring a car for 7 days this is limited to 5/7ths of the cost (you can only claim for the working week) and original receipts must be provided. If it’s just for a day or two during your working week then you can claim for the full amount. If you claim for car hire the amount you can claim for mileage is reduced but you can decide not to claim for the cost of the hire and claim for business mileage only instead. Give us a call and we can discuss your options with you.

Unfortunately any speeding, parking, clamping or other fines cannot be claimed.


If you cycle to and from your assignment not only will you be helping the environment and your health but it will also benefit your pocket as you can claim 20p for every mile you travel.

Other travel costs

This could be your tube pass, train ticket, taxi fare, flight or ferry and you can even claim for any road tolls, parking or congestion charging. This is because, as a Parasol employee, travelling to and from your assignment means you are travelling to or from a temporary place of work. As a result, the cost you incur is a legitimate business expense.


Although the cost of stationery items is generally quite low, when you add together the cost of each item in your stationery cupboard it really does make claiming for them worthwhile. Remember, as long as it’s an item related to your current assignment, you can claim for it.

Food and Drink

Claiming food and drink with a receipt

If you are providing receipts, there are no restrictions to the amount or type of claim you can make for the reimbursement of food and drink costs, other than the food and drink must be purchased and consumed either on your way to or from work, or whilst at work. Buying food and drink in the supermarket the day before and consuming it whilst at work does not qualify.

Claiming food and drink without providing a receipt to Parasol

Please be aware that even though receipts are not initially required by Parasol for some claims, you must keep hold of all receipts. If you weren’t required to send all the receipts for your claim, make sure that you have kept hold of your receipts as you’re legally and contractually obliged to evidence expense claims if requested, as HMRC and Parasol can audit you at any time. In fact, every month, 10% of all business expenses submitted to Parasol are audited, so if you don’t want to keep hold of your receipts, we will keep them for you.

The maximum amount that you can claim without providing a receipt is a total of £10 per day. However, there are no restrictions to the amount you can claim if you upload a picture or scanned copy of the receipt to My Parasol.

The following represent the maximum amounts that you can claim without providing the receipts to Parasol:

  • Breakfast - You can submit a claim up to £5 if you leave home to travel to your assignment location before 6am and incur a breakfast cost after leaving home.
  • Daytime meal - You can submit a claim up to £5 when working more than 5 hours and less than 10 hours or up to £10 when working more than 10 hours. Please note that you would be unable to claim for both within in any 24 hour period. The maximum you can claim for a daytime meal is £10 and a daytime meal claim with a maximum of £10 counts as 2 claims.
  • Evening meal - If you work after 8pm then you could submit a claim up to £10 to cover the cost of your evening meal as long as the meal is purchased and consumed before you return home.

So to summarise, in any 24 hour period, you can only make 2 claims without providing a receipt to Parasol and the total value of those claims cannot exceed £10.

Expense changes table

Examples of what you can claim for without providing a receipt on My Parasol:

Option 1


Option 2


Option 3

Remember even if you aren’t required to submit a receipt, you can only claim for what you’ve actually incurred and you’ll need to keep hold of all receipts in case you’re audited by HMRC or Parasol.


As an employee of Parasol you can also claim for the reasonable costs incurred when entertaining a business contact or client. And while we like to see you all having a good time, nights out with friends and family or work colleagues don’t count. You will need to provide receipts with any entertaining expense claims and provide the names and company name of any clients or prospective clients you entertain. 


If you want to do a course or take part in training that is related to a professional qualification, then you could claim for it as a legitimate business expense.

If the training or qualification is a requirement for your assignment then there is a good chance that you could claim for it, however, non-work related qualifications are not a legitimate business expense.