VW Golf R32 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick question for members. Do you claim your lunches on your tax return?

Currently I don't, as I assumed I would have to have lunch anyway, therefore it's not a business expense.

However, I was told that as I am a contractor and have to travel around allot, buying lunch in say the centre of London, would cost more than if I bought/made it locally when I sometimes work from home. Therefore I might be able to claim the difference?

I know this sounds pretty flimsy, as surely if I was really concerned I would make a packed lunch, and in reality we are not talking that much money. I just want to know as since being told I started saving receipts from lunch and it's driving me nuts having all the extra receipts to sort through, which I'm not evening claiming for.

Any ideas?
 

·
Been That long I can not reMember
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
If you have a receipt for it yes if not then no (officially) but a lot of people put them in anyway but I wouldn't advise it as if you are investigated u will be torn a new one!
... Now you see why you see a lot of contractors in mcdonalds ......
 

·
Been That long I can not reMember
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
It is legitimate if you are working away from home I believe and you are doing a full dAys work
 
G

·
Hmmmm I don't claim for that but I'm sure it can be done problem is if you take the piss on any claim you run the risk of been investigated do you want that ?
 

·
Been That long I can not reMember
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
It isn't taking piss if you are entitled to it but like you say Andy it's a very fine line between over claiming and claiming what you are allowed so be careful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmmm I don't claim for that but I'm sure it can be done problem is if you take the piss on any claim you run the risk of been investigated do you want that ?
My returns are clean, I don't have anything to hide, however I can't be bothered to sit down with the tax man and walk him through it so would need to pay an accountant to do it, which is a cost I don't want to pay.
 

·
South East Organiser
Joined
·
6,827 Posts
LOZ is an accountant i think he defo say/ I think you get an allowance daily. my account always stick ya maccas/kfc/burgerking receipts in so i guess so!
 

·
Been That long I can not reMember
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
It's very unlikely you will get investigated I have done my receipts for last 3 years myself without accountant. It's quite easy to do
 
G

·
im not saying you will get investigated im aware there random and if your books are perfect then your doing it wrong lol ( thats a joke )

all im saying is i dont but i dont work away that much and dont feel like its worth it .
travel & accomoddation yes
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,142 Posts
This is a tax related question

I've noticed my code hasn't changed in the last year.. It says 816L and I'm sure it should now be 944L.. Anyone know? I'm hoping I'll get a nice little rebate come April!
 

·
Hard to reMember
Joined
·
4,500 Posts
Heya mate

Firstly what you're looking at claiming is Travel and Subsistence. Secondly like all expenses you have to have a receipt. It's not an "allowance" like the tax free allowance everyone receives before they have to pay tax. So to answer your question no you cannot claim for general food and drink (lunches). What you can claim for is dinner and/or breakfast if you stay in a hotel or other accommodation. You can claim for both the hotel bill and the meals. However they must be "within reason". If you go to London to do a job that pays £200 for the day, you wouldn't be able to stay at The Ritz and make an expense claim. Also you have to be reasonable with the distance. You wouldn't be allowed to claim for an overnight stay in a hotel that was 10 miles from your house. You wouldn't be able to bring your wife for the overnight stay as that would go from business to pleasure
. You can claim for dinner even if you're not staying the night (under certain circumstances). If you finish work at 6 or 7 pm and you're an hour or two drive from home then you could have dinner at a restaurant or similar and claim for the meal (an example so please use your own interpretation for distance and time of day). Again you would have to be sensible with where you eat in relation to the size of the job and you're business Turnover. Some people believe you can have a business meeting and pay for the client's meal. This counts as "entertainment" and is not an allowable expense. The only time you can buy someone a meal is at Christmas for employees only and there is a limit "per head".

Some people say that Taxi Drivers are allowed to claim food and drink as they do long distance work. Every HMRC level 2 Technician and level 3 Tax Inspector I've ever spoken to on the subject has said that general food and drink is necessary to survive and is therefore not a business expense. Driving is part of a taxi driver's job and if they want to have some lunch they either need to bring it with them or buy it between journeys (but they can't claim for it). I had a Taxi Driver who had to drive someone from Hampshire to Denmark as the Volcano in Iceland had shut down air travel. This is a good example of when someone who normally can't claim food and drink would be allowed to claim food, drink and accommodation (as well as fuel/mileage depending on the system the individual uses).

So unless you're staying overnight or working late and are a distance from home then you cannot claim for food and drink. HMRC relies on people to be honest and use good judgement on what they deem is fair in certain circumstances. If you take advantage and get investigated, claiming ignorance is not an excuse. As long as you are honest with yourself about working late or staying overnight you'll be fine. But don't take the piss as if HMRC find out they can go back through the years and you'll be on their radar for future years. It's really not worth it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulW

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Will they send you to prison for small amounts of expenses 'errors'?


I have friends and family that have been in business for 30 years and never been investigated!…I think their lives would be over if they ever do! LOL

Tax returns are a stressful time of year, especially immediatley after christmas.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,142 Posts
forcedissue said:
Will they send you to prison for small amounts of expenses 'errors'?
I have friends and family that have been in business for 30 years and never been investigated!…I think their lives would be over if they ever do! LOL Tax returns are a stressful time of year, especially immediatley after christmas.
Is the stress worth the evasion?
 

·
Hard to reMember
Joined
·
4,500 Posts
Investigations are completely at random.
Sorry bud that's not strictly true. Yes some are at random but very few.

Examples:

If you are a Sub-Contractor paid through the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) and the figures you submit on your Tax Return do not link up with what you're Contractor has submitted on their monthly CIS Returns then your Accounts will be looked at and you will be given an opportunity to correct this. Investigations can come from this.

If you are Employed but have other income and therefore submit a Tax Return to HMRC you may be investigated if the Employment section of the Tax Return doesn't link up with what your employer has submitted to HMRC through RTI.

You can also be investigated if your Tax Return appears to just have a general mistake.

You are more likely to be investigated if:

Your Tax Return is late (why is it late, are you hiding something, are you unsure of what you're doing)?
You've changed Accountant a number of times (is he/she trying to find an Accountant who will break the law)?
Your profit is considerably and/or consistently low and HMRC can't find a reason for this

Just a few examples but they are anything but random. HMRC now states that for every £1 they spend on investigating they make £10. I can't imagine that their multi-billion pound task force who are looking for billions of pounds are going "eeny, meeny, miny, moe"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Heya mate

Firstly what you're looking at claiming is Travel and Subsistence. Secondly like all expenses you have to have a receipt. It's not an "allowance" like the tax free allowance everyone receives before they have to pay tax. So to answer your question no you cannot claim for general food and drink (lunches). What you can claim for is dinner and/or breakfast if you stay in a hotel or other accommodation. You can claim for both the hotel bill and the meals. However they must be "within reason". If you go to London to do a job that pays £200 for the day, you wouldn't be able to stay at The Ritz and make an expense claim. Also you have to be reasonable with the distance. You wouldn't be allowed to claim for an overnight stay in a hotel that was 10 miles from your house. You wouldn't be able to bring your wife for the overnight stay as that would go from business to pleasure
. You can claim for dinner even if you're not staying the night (under certain circumstances). If you finish work at 6 or 7 pm and you're an hour or two drive from home then you could have dinner at a restaurant or similar and claim for the meal (an example so please use your own interpretation for distance and time of day). Again you would have to be sensible with where you eat in relation to the size of the job and you're business Turnover. Some people believe you can have a business meeting and pay for the client's meal. This counts as "entertainment" and is not an allowable expense. The only time you can buy someone a meal is at Christmas for employees only and there is a limit "per head".


Some people say that Taxi Drivers are allowed to claim food and drink as they do long distance work. Every HMRC level 2 Technician and level 3 Tax Inspector I've ever spoken to on the subject has said that general food and drink is necessary to survive and is therefore not a business expense. Driving is part of a taxi driver's job and if they want to have some lunch they either need to bring it with them or buy it between journeys (but they can't claim for it). I had a Taxi Driver who had to drive someone from Hampshire to Denmark as the Volcano in Iceland had shut down air travel. This is a good example of when someone who normally can't claim food and drink would be allowed to claim food, drink and accommodation (as well as fuel/mileage depending on the system the individual uses).

So unless you're staying overnight or working late and are a distance from home then you cannot claim for food and drink. HMRC relies on people to be honest and use good judgement on what they deem is fair in certain circumstances. If you take advantage and get investigated, claiming ignorance is not an excuse. As long as you are honest with yourself about working late or staying overnight you'll be fine. But don't take the piss as if HMRC find out they can go back through the years and you'll be on their radar for future years. It's really not worth it.
Thanks for the info mate, I think allot of what I have heard was hearsay from work colleagues, for example one friend who's husband owns a couple of cafe's for claims his meals when eating out as it's put down as research. Again I'm not fussed as I would of bought the food anyway, just looking forward to shredding all the lunch receipts I have stacked up on my desk.
 

·
Hard to reMember
Joined
·
4,500 Posts
This is a tax related question

I've noticed my code hasn't changed in the last year.. It says 816L and I'm sure it should now be 944L.. Anyone know? I'm hoping I'll get a nice little rebate come April!
Have you received a P2 coding notice? This will explain how your Tax code is worked out (as not everyone's is the same). The P2 coding notice is a white A4 piece of paper with the green HMRC logo at the top (it will say P2 in the bottom left hand corner). It could be lower for a number of reasons but best to get a P2 coding notice first. Do you fill out a Tax Return? If your tax code is wrong and you don't fill out a tax return then there's no guarantee that the error will be picked up on.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,142 Posts
L_O_Z said:
Have you received a P2 coding notice? This will explain how your Tax code is worked out (as not everyone's is the same). The P2 coding notice is a white A4 piece of paper with the green HMRC logo at the top (it will say P2 in the bottom left hand corner). It could be lower for a number of reasons but best to get a P2 coding notice first. Do you fill out a Tax Return? If your tax code is wrong and you don't fill out a tax return then there's no guarantee that the error will be picked up on.
Never seen a P2 form.. My employers usually sort the tax codes out. Do I need to contact the tax office and get the P2 form?

Cheers for the reply
 
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
Top