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HMRC has updated guidance on when tax relief is available on travel expenses for staff who work from home (WFH).

The tax authority is responding to the growth of flexible and hybrid basis working contracts, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic.

HMRC confirmed that ‘under such arrangements, the employee will have a base office and journeys from home to that location will be ordinary commuting’.

These trips are not eligible for tax relief.

Whether or not an employee’s home is a workplace does not affect the availability of tax relief for travel expenses.

Travel expenses from home to a permanent workplace will only qualify for tax relief if the journey qualifies as travel in the performance of the duties of the employment.

HMRC states: ‘Even though it may have been accepted that the employee’s home is a workplace, it does not necessarily follow that they’ll be entitled to tax relief for the cost of travel between their home and a permanent workplace.

‘This is because the place where an employee lives will ordinarily be down to their personal choice, not an objective requirement of the job.’

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McBrides Chartered Accountants