If you have to travel to and from a temporary place of work, this can often mean buying food as a convenience due to all the travelling. If you do indeed purchase your own food whilst travelling then you could be due a tax rebate on the amount you spent. All you would need to do is keep a record of what you have spent e.g. retain receipts for said purchases.
Claiming a food tax refund for food on the go
Recent research for Visa Contactless found that on average, the amount that people who travel to work spend on these small and regular purchases adds up to £10.59 a day. Over the course of a year, taking weekends and holidays out of the equation, the total bill comes to £2,541, the Working Day Spend Report found. We can process a tax refund claim for your food expenses as part of your travel tax refund, but not as a stand-alone expenses claim.
If you’re constantly travelling for your job then you are entitled to claim the costs for any food purchased while travelling. This may be when you are travelling during your working day to temporary workplaces or it could be if you have to travel long distances to get to a temporary work site that you’re currently staying at. Whether you buy a meal deal for £3.5 from your local shop, the petrol station, or takeaway en route remember to keep those receipts so that we can claim and process your food tax refund for you.
What records & receipts do you have to keep when making a food tax refund claim?
You need to keep hold of any receipts as evidence of what you’ve spent on your food. When using a card to pay, make sure to request and keep the receipt that comes out of the card machine. Bank statements can give you this information however this is harder to claim as not as transparent as the original purchase receipt.
Try to take photos of any menu boards as extra evidence to help validate your claim. If a food menu doesn’t change then you will only need the one picture in addition to the food receipts.
Helpful list of things to do
• Record all your spending by keeping receipts, meal tickets, email confirmations, bank statements, and any other records. If you haven’t been keeping these then make sure you start today, as throwing a receipt away is the same as throwing money away.
• HMRC loves receipts, so you should always hold onto them to not only help you validate your claim but this makes the work HMRC have to do much easier.
• Using cash? If so then getting a mini-statement from the cash machine you took it out from can help show the money you’ve spent. As additional proof, take a photo of the menu or price list using your mobile phone, which will help support your claim as you may withdraw £30 from the cash machine but only spend £10.50 of that on your actual food.
• When travelling to work on public transport e.g. a train, keep all receipts for any food purchases you make whilst on board.
• Keep a food diary and what you eat and how much you spend every day.
• Tell your work friends and if you are missing out on refunds then in all likelihood they will be too! Tell them about our services and we’ll reward you for everyone who makes a claim with us.
You want to make sure that if HMRC does ask for proof of your expenses that you keep clear precise records. The more details you can provide to them of what you’ve spent, then the happier they’ll be that you’re claiming for the correct amount due.
What Can I Claim Tax Back On?
You can claim tax back on most work-related expenses. Below is a list of items that you can request a tax rebate on:
• Vehicles for work use
• Fuel/Mileage costs
• Travel expenses
• Overnight expenses (food in certain circumstances)
• Rail Tickets (single & season tickets)
• Uniforms, work clothing and tools
• Cleaning costs for uniforms
• Professional fees, subscriptions & unions fees
This list is an example of what you could claim back; there may be expenses & items specific to the job role that you could claim back.
What are the Deadlines?
- Current legislation in the UK says you can go back up to four Tax years when claiming a Tax rebate. This means at the current moment in time you can make a claim for the following periods:
- Year ended 5th April 2020
- Year ended 5th April 2021
- Year ended 5th April 2022
- Year ended 5th April 2023
Effectively this means you can claim Tax relief from 6th April 2019.
Over such a long period of time wage slips and p60s can be lost or misplaced. This isn’t a problem as you have lots of ways to obtain this information.
- Contact your current/previous employers as they are legally obliged to keep your records going back 6 years and because of GDPR if your request that information they have to provide it to you.
- You could log into your government gateway which is easy to set up if you have never done this.
- Contact HMRC on 0300 200 3300 and request that they post out to you a tax history letter which usually arrives in 10 working days from when you request it from them and this tax history letter will go back 4 years.
Am I Due Any Tax Back?
Most workers, whether employed or self-employed may be due a tax rebate for work-related items, expenses or because they have paid too much tax. HMRC do not know everyone’s individual circumstances, and it is up to the taxpayer to contact HMRC to see if they are entitled to any tax relief.
Other reasons for a tax refund may include pension payments, redundancy payments, interest from a savings account, PPI, or UK income if you are living aboard.
All claims for tax refunds and rebates are reviewed on a case by case basis. Use our tax claim form and answer a few simple questions to see if you could be entitled to make a claim.
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