If you use your own car, motorbike or van for work journeys, you are eligible to claim back an allowance to cover the costs you will incur for these trips.
Our guide looks at what constitutes a ‘work journey’ in HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) terms and how you go about claiming back fuel expenses you have incurred.
Defining a ‘work journey’
A work journey is a journey that you have to make as part of your employment. Examples of what would be considered a work journey are:
- Visiting clients at their homes in your own vehicle
- Making deliveries to customers
- Picking up and dropping off stock or raw materials from suppliers in your own vehicle
One common question asked by many people is ‘can I claim back fuel expenses for travel from my home to my place of work?’ The answer to this question is ‘no’. Commuting to your normal place of work from home is not considered a ‘work journey’.
Claiming fuel expenses
The amount of fuel expenses that you can claim depends on the type of vehicle you are using. HMRC publish a list of ‘mileage rates’ depending on whether you are using a car/van or a motorcycle.
You can claim the fixed mileage rate for your vehicle for the number of miles that you have travelled on work journeys. Bear in mind that there is a maximum amount of tax relief that you are able to claim in a tax year, even if your fuel expenses exceed this amount.
Receiving expenses from your employer
Your employer may already pay you expenses to cover the costs you incur in using your own vehicle for work journeys.
If this amount is higher than the official HMRC mileage rate you will be liable for tax on the excess.
If the amount is lower than the official HMRC mileage rate, you can claim your fuel expenses for the difference.
You are able to claim Mileage Allowance Relief by using form P87 or by writing to your Tax Office.
Keep details of your work journeys
In order to ensure that you claim back all the fuel expenses that you are entitled to, it is important that you keep a record of all your work journeys. If you plan to claim Mileage Allowance Relief from HMRC they will need evidence of the work journeys you have undertaken.
In addition, your employer is likely to need these records if you receive an expenses payment for the costs you incur by using your own vehicle for business purposes.