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  • Can I Claim Business Mileage From Home?

    With remote work becoming the new normal for many professionals, questions regarding tax deductions and expenses have taken centre stage. One common query that arises is, "Can I claim business mileage from home?"

    Can I claim business mileage from home?

    As more employees embrace the flexibility of working remotely, understanding the guidelines and regulations surrounding business mileage becomes crucial. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of claiming business mileage from home and shed light on what you need to know to navigate this aspect of tax deductions effectively.

    What is classified as a business mile?

    Business mileage refers to the distance travelled for work-related activities, excluding personal or commuting purposes. It encompasses the miles you drive or travel in your vehicle while conducting business, such as visiting clients, attending meetings or making deliveries.

    Defining ordinary commuting

    For most employees, ordinary commuting refers to the daily journey between their residence and their permanent workplace. To establish whether your travel falls under ordinary commuting, your employment contract must explicitly state the location(s) where you are expected to work.

    HMRC defines a regular place of work as the location where an employee frequently attends work, following a consistent pattern throughout their employment period. If you spend at least 40% of your working time at a particular place, regardless of the office address stated in your contract, it is considered your regular workplace. This even applies if you work at multiple locations.

    Limitations on claiming business mileage:

    • Multiple workplaces: If you work in your company's office on certain days and regularly visit a customer's premises on others, the mileage from your home to both places is deemed ordinary commuting. Consequently, you cannot claim business mileage for these journeys.
    • Mixing personal and business activities: It is important to note that simply incorporating work-related tasks into your journey, such as making phone calls or dropping off items, does not transform ordinary commuting or private mileage into business mileage. The primary purpose of the journey must be work-related to qualify for business mileage claims.

    Can I claim business mileage from home if it’s a temporary workplace?

    When it comes to individuals who don't have a permanent workplace, such as those working on projects at various locations, figuring out if they can claim business mileage can be confusing. Luckily, HMRC has created guidelines to deal with these situations.

    In general, the cost of travel to a temporary workplace can be claimed as business mileage, qualifying for tax relief. A temporary workplace is a location that is different from the regular workplace and where employees visit temporarily or for a limited duration, even if they attend it regularly.

    However, if the role lasts or is likely to last more than 24 months, the workplace is no longer considered temporary. In such cases, travel to and from work is categorised as ordinary commuting, and business mileage claims are not applicable.

    Can I claim business mileage from home if I need to go to the office occasionally?

    With the rise of remote work, many employees now operate from their homes. According to HMRC, homes may qualify as workplaces if they meet certain criteria:

    1. The duties you perform at home should be substantial and represent a significant part or all of your job responsibilities.

    2. These duties cannot be carried out without adequate facilities.

    3. You live too far away from your employer's premises, making it unreasonable to expect you to commute there daily, or there are no suitable facilities at your employer's premises.

    4.  The choice to work either at the employer's premises or elsewhere was not available to you before or after the employment contract was established.

    If HMRC acknowledges your home as your designated workplace for all or part of your working week, you may be eligible to claim business mileage from home or tax relief when you travel to your workplace.

    Your regular working patterns will determine which trips you can claim. For instance, if you work from home four days a week and visit the office one day a week, that trip to the office is considered a typical commute. However, if you attend a meeting on a day you work from home, that specific trip would qualify as a temporary purpose, thereby making it eligible for a claim.

    It's important to consult with HMRC or a tax professional to ensure you understand the specific rules and regulations that apply to your situation.

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