Food Tax Refund Claims

Travelling to temporary workplaces often means buying food away from home. Paying for your own food means you could be due a tax refund on what you have spent. Just keep a simple record to show what you’ve paid out to keep track of your spends.

Claiming a 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 travelling for your job then you can claim the costs for food purchased while travelling. This might be when you are travelling during the working day to temporary workplaces or it might be if you have to travel long distance to get to a temporary site that you’re 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 process your food tax refund for you.

What records do you have to keep?

Keep hold of things like receipts and order tickets as evidence of what you’ve spent on your food. When using a card to pay, keep the slip that comes out of the machine. Bank statements can give you this information but that will be much harder work for you.

Try to take a photos of price boards  or menus as extra evidence of your claim. If a menu doesn’t change then you will only need one picture.


Helpful list of things to do


  • Record of all your spending by keeping receipts, meal tickets, email confirmations, bank statements and any other records. If you haven’t been keeping these then start now! Throwing a receipt away is the same as throwing money away.


  • HMRC loves receipts, so you should always hold onto them.


  • Using cash?  If so then getting a mini-statement from the bank machine you got it from can help show the money you’ve spent. As  extra proof, take a photo of the menu or price list which will help support your claim as you may take £30 out of the cash machine but spend £10.50 on your actual food.


  • When travelling to work on public transport, keep receipts for any food you buy 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! Getting them a big tax refund  as you wait in the queue for your meal is better than buying them a quick drink because they haven’t got much cash that day. Even better – if they’re not yet making a tax refund claim you could send them to us to get started and we’ll reward you for everyone who claims with us.


  • Don’t keep all those receipts lying around causing a big mess. You can take a picture of your receipt , meal ticket or menu board on your phone and save them together in one folder so you can easily find them all at the end of the tax year when its time to claim your tax refund.


Food tax refund



  • If HMRC do ask for proof of your expenses they like to see nice, clear records – and the more detail you can give them of what you’ve spent them the happier they’ll be that you’re claiming for what you’re 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?

In the UK, the current legislation states that you can claim back up to four years when claiming a tax rebate. What this means is you could claim for the following tax periods:


• Year ending 5th April 2016
• Year ending 5th April 2017
• Year ending 5th April 2018
• Year ending 5th April 2019


Over such a long period of time wage slips and p60s can be lost or misplaced. In most cases, this is not a problem as at Swift Refunds we can seek copies from HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf.

Are you owed Tax back from HMRC? Find out today

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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Whether you use your own vehicle for work, use public transport such as trains to travel to various work locations or buy your own equipment and materials then there is a good chance that you can claim back for your travel expenses. HMRC lets claimants claim up to 4 years worth of expenses. On average a 4-year tax rebate pays out around £2,500.

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