Claiming business mileage if you work for different employers

Times are tough and more and more people are turning to dual and even triple employment to make ends meet. If you are one of them and your employment involves you driving your own car to fulfill client meetings or sites visits, do you have all the information you need to claim your mileage back? Here is a short guide to help you understand what is and is not allowed.

The guidelines

You may qualify for business mileage tax relief if you are required to use your own vehicle to conduct eligible travel during the normal course of your employment. This can be in a car or a van – motorbikes and cycles attract a lower rate. There are a number of exceptions; for example, travel to and from work, i.e. commuting, does not count in this respect.

If, during a single tax year, you make journeys during which you incur expenses, such as having to buy petrol, pay for parking etc, you can claim up to 45p per mile, up to a maximum of 10,000 miles from your employer. If you ride a motorbike or a bicycle you can claim 24p and 20p respectively. Rates above 10,000 miles are lower. Car and vans drivers can claim 25p per mile over 10,000 miles. The rates for claims for motorbike riders and cyclists remains the same over 10,000 miles.

Different employers

It is important to remember that you must keep complete and organised records of your travel expenses for each separate company that you undertake travel on behalf of. The companies may have their own systems of recording such details, either via a computer system or through traditional paper work.

Timely and organised submission of your expenses will enable you to reclaim them as soon as possible and avoid you being out of pocket at the end of each month.

Associated employers

Work-related travel undertaken on behalf of two or more companies which are associated with each other (i.e. if they are the same employer, if the companies belong within a partnership agreement or if they are associated under the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988), means that en employee can only make one claim for travel expenses, rather than two or more.

In such cases, employees must refer to either their line manager, their HR department or the payroll function of their employers to see who is responsible for issuing business mileage reimbursement. Specialist advice may be necessary to clarify exactly who is responsible for paying business mileage expenses.

In such cases it is particularly important that detailed records are kept of an employee’s expenditure in order that the correct amount is repaid and to simplify taxation matters for the individual and the organisation.

The rate at which you can expect to be paid back remains the same, whether you work for one company or more, or whether those companies are associated.

Use our free calculator to find out how much income tax you could be entitled to reclaim.

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