If you use your own vehicle for business use whilst at work, then you may be entitled to receive mileage allowance. This money is intended to cover fuel, wear and tear and any other costs associated with the maintenance and use of your personal vehicle. It is important to understand what kinds of trip qualify as work journeys to make sure you receive the correct business mileage allowance.
What sort of journeys qualify?
HMRC defines business mileage as travel you are required to undertake in the course of your job. This travel excludes your regular commute to and from work. This is sometimes referred to as the first and last call principle, whereby the journey from your home to your first port of call, and that between your last call and your home, cannot be claimed. For example, an employee travelling from their home to the main premises of their employment, then travelling to a meeting, journeying back to the office and then returning home would be able to claim for the two middle journeys only. This scenario may be applicable to site-based employees who may commute to their main office before later journeying to visit customers or attend appointments. Business mileage can also include travel to a temporary job.
However, some employees, such as construction workers or home care nurses working in the private sector, do not have a regular office as such, so the regulations are a little different. These types of job take place off-site, so employees may qualify for business mileage. In the case of contracted staff such as nurses who visit patients in their homes, a mileage allowance may be included as part of their salary. Those working in the construction sector may also find that they can claim for their travel. Typically, this would be the case if they travelled to a particular site for a period of less than two years, after which time the location would typically be regarded as their permanent place of work. The best practice is to log all mileage in case a claim needs to be made.
What records do you need to keep?
In order to accurately calculate which journeys count as business mileage it is vital to keep accurate records of your travel. That means records of the date, mileage and full details, including starting and finishing locations, of every journey that you make. Remember that in most circumstances travel to and from your regular place of employment is regarded as a commute rather than a work journey, so will not count towards your business mileage total.
In a nutshell, business mileage refers to any ground covered in the course of your job that is outside of your regular commute. Keeping accurate records of mileage will enable you to make sure you receive any allowances, reimbursements or tax relief that you may be entitled to. If you are not familiar with the precise definitions of what does, and what does not, qualify for HMRC business mileage relief, further information can be found on the HMRC website.
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