It is not safe to assume that the cost of travel from a home office to a client or customer is always tax deductible. There are many instances when this is not the case, as was proved in the recent appeal brought by Dr Samad Samadian. Samadian appealed against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), who stated that his mileage claims from his home office to a private hospital were not tax deductible. Samadian is not only an employed NHS doctor but is also self-employed, carrying out private work from his home office. He therefore has three operating bases – his home office and two places at two different hospitals. Samadian wished to claim mileage to and from all three bases of operation. It is safe to assume that travel between workplaces, as a result of employed or self-employed work, can be claimed. This is still true, and Samadian was able to claim for infrequent travel that occurred between any of his three bases and his patient’s homes.
The objections occurred, however, where Samadian claimed frequent travel, either between his home office and a regular patient, or his home office and his bases at the private hospitals. He was refused these claims due to travel to and from his home office being seen as a result of both business and private purposes. HMRC states that an expense that isn’t ‘wholly exclusively for business” isn’t tax deductible.
Infrequent travel is easier to claim as it is easier to prove that these trips are solely for business, however regular journeys from a home office are not always clear cut, with the same frequent journeys being difficult to differentiate between business and private purposes. Therefore, if you are self-employed, it is important you are aware of this as frequent visits from a home office to the same customer or client may not always be tax deductible, and HMRC can challenge your claims. It is important that you plan your work travel accordingly, ensuring you are not making the same visits too often. If you are worried about any frequent trips you are making, or would like to confirm that your claims are justified please get in touch.