An update on home to work travel

July 2nd 2024

HMRC has changed its guidance on home to work travel costs where an employee’s home is their workplace. How might this affect your right to tax relief? Naomi Swan brings you a detailed update.

Tax experts have been saying for years that HMRC’s guidance on tax relief for travel costs needed updating to cover the situation where employees (including directors) have two or more permanent workplaces, one of which is their home. HMRC’s updated guide to tax and travel costs does this.

Travel costs are not tax deductible if they are for ordinary commuting between home and a permanent workplace, usually that’s your employer’s premises. However, it is now common for many employees to have two permanent places of work, their home and their employer’s premises. This raises the question of whether a tax deduction can be claimed for the cost of travelling between them.

Costs of travelling from home to a temporary place of work, e.g. a customer’s premises, are tax deductible.

HMRC’s revised guidance says that where your home is a workplace, then in some circumstances tax relief for travel costs for journeys to and from another workplace might be tax deductible. The key factor is whether you are “required” by your employer to work at home or whether you do so at your request.

If an employer agrees to an employee’s request to work at home some of the time, making it a contractual requirement will clarify the tax relief position. If the employee must travel between home and the employer’s premises when they would be expecting to work at home, they can claim a tax deduction for the cost of that travel.

The cost of commuting to your normal workplace isn’t tax deductible. But if you’re meant to be working from home but must travel to another workplace, e.g. your employer’s premises, the cost is tax deductible.

If you would like to discuss this further or have other related questions, please do contact the JRW Hogg & Thorburn team, they will be happy to assist.