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

We thought we’d put some information together so you can clearly see what you can and can’t legitimately claim for. 

Accommodation

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).

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Travel

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

Drivers

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.

Cyclists

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.

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Stationery

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.

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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

The maximum food and drink amount that you can claim without providing a receipt to Parasol is £25 a day. But don’t forget – there are no restrictions to the amount you can claim if you do provide a receipt.

You are able to make up to 3 food and drink claims in any 24 hour period without providing a receipt to Parasol but the total value of those claims cannot exceed £25. The following table represents the maximum food and drink allowances that you can claim without sending us a receipt.

Newsletter Table

The above amounts refer to HMRC’s benchmark scale rates, so as long as you incur a cost in the relevant time period and get a receipt (in case you are ever audited by HMRC), you can claim the full allowance. Please also note that the Breakfast and Evening meal allowances relate to days where you have to work longer hours than usual and therefore cannot be claimed on a regular basis.

This makes the process of submitting your food and drink expenses a lot quicker and simpler, plus you can be safe in the knowledge that you are still compliant with HMRC guidelines.

Examples of what you can claim without providing a receipt to Parasol:

Example 1

Or:

Example 2

Entertaining

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. 

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Electronic equipment

The costs of electrical equipment such as software and hardware essential to your role can be claimed. So if you require a new laptop or iPad, you can claim it as a business expense as long as it is required for your current assignment. Plus, there’s no limit to the amount that can be claimed, although you must complete the sundry letter provided detailing how each purchase supports your role, along with the original receipt, but our expenses team will be able to talk you through it.

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Training

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.