In our newsletter on 18 October 2018 we explained that from 6 April 2019 employers will not have to check receipts when employees claim subsistence expenses within the benchmark scale rates.
Those benchmark scale rates for meals taken while travelling within the UK were last updated in 2016, and are now set at; £5 for one meal, £10 for two meals or £15 for a late evening meal. There are additional conditions to meet in relation to the time spent travelling away from the normal place of work on the day in question.
The benchmark scale rates for travelling overseas have just been updated for the first time since 1 October 2014. The new rates will apply from 6 April 2019, and like the UK rates they have been given statutory backing by regulation SI 2019/358.
The overseas scale rates are far more complicated than the UK rates as they include both room rates and time-based rates. Guidance on how to apply these overseas rates is given in HMRC’s Employment Income Manual at EIM05255.
Back in the UK the advisory fuel rates have just been updated for journeys taken from 1 March 2019. These rates can be used to reimburse company car drivers for the cost of fuel they have purchased which is used on business related journeys.
Where the employee is provided with an electric company vehicle they can be reimbursed at the rate of 4p/mile for electricity used on business journeys. This would be a fair reimbursement where the vehicle is charged at the employee’s home, but it may not cover the cost of a “fast charge” at a motorway service station.