Claiming mileage if you work in social services

Social Services is one of many industries that often requires employees to undertake considerable travel as part of day-to-day work. In most instances, employers reimburse their employees for miles clocked up as part of their duties. There are potential tax implications though for travel with work.

The government sets an allowable rate for mileage payments, and as long as payments are kept below that, they are not subject to income tax.

Basic mileage rates

Although there is a slight difference in permissible rates dependent on the type of vehicle used, and the number of miles being claimed for, for most claimants, mileage can be paid at 45p per mile up to 10,000 miles. Above that, the rate drops to 25p per mile. Motorcyclists can claim 24p per mile, and cyclists 20p per mile, irrespective of the number of miles they travel.

Keep accurate records

You will need to ensure that any claims that you make can be substantiated by accurate business travel records. Your travel from your home to your regular place of work does not entitle you to a claim.

HMRC uses the P87 form to allow people to list the expenses they intend to claim tax relief on, including business mileage. At the bottom of the form, you will calculate your entitlement.


In the 2010/11 tax year, Claire, a social worker, drove 9,000 miles on work business. She may claim: 9,000 x 45 = £4,050.
In 2011/12, she drove further and totted up 14,000 miles.
(10,000 x 45p) = £4,500 + (4,000 x 25p) = £1,000 = £5,500
By 2012/13, she had switched from her car to a motorbike and although she still travelled the 14,000 but the rate has dropped.
14,000 x 24p = £3,360
Bear in mind that you may only claim for eligible business travel. Personal travel is not included, even if you use your car mainly for business use. If you have been paid some allowance from your employer, you might still be entitled to claim the difference up to 45p per mile (bearing in mind the above restrictions).

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

Calculate Tax Rebate