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If you’re a freelancer, or about to start freelancing, you may be able to claim for your travel expenses. For employees this is pretty straightforward – just hand it over to your employer and let them sort it out. For freelancers, it’s not so clear cut. We explain what travel expenses freelancers can claim for, and how to claim.

Are freelancers entitled to claim for travel?

As a business owner you can, and should, claim for business expenses. HMRC tax freelancers on their profits, not their income. In other words, deducting your expenses from the year-end total helps reduce your tax bill.

Travel costs can count as a business expense, but there are limitations as to what types of travel you can include.

The golden rule with any type of expenses is that it’s “wholly, exclusively and necessary” for the business. You can claim for travel costs, but only if they’re business related. No school runs and shopping trips on HMRC, we’re afraid!

Commuting costs vs. business travel expenses

When working out your claim for travel expenses, it’s important to distinguish between a commute, and a travel expense.

In short, if you’re travelling to a business premises or job site in order to do your work, that’s a commute, and you can’t claim for it.

If you’re going to a meeting, or a training course etc, then you can claim for the cost of travelling there and back.

 

Freelancer accountancy services

What can freelancers claim for?

Now that we know you can only claim for business-related travel expenses, what does this actually apply to? Some examples of what you can claim for include the following:

How do freelancers claim for travel expenses?

To claim for travel expenses, freelancers should include them in the total expenses on their Self Assessment tax return.

While you won’t need to hand over proof of your expenses with your tax return, it’s important to keep hold of them anyway. There’s always a chance that HMRC will conduct an investigation into your business so you’ll need evidence to back up your claims.

This evidence is easy to keep if you upload receipts into accounting software. That way everything is kept securely in the cloud and you don’t have to deal with drawers full of crumpled receipts.

Ask us for an instant quote, or talk to one of our advisors by calling 020 3355 4047.

About The Author

Christopher Jones

Forensics graduate-turned copywriter and blogger. I love turning complex topics into easy to understand, yet engaging pieces of content.

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