Expenditure on Travel & Subsistence

Travel & subsistence expenditure occurs when an employee performs the duties of employment temporarily away from where those duties are normally employed (the normal place of employment). This type of expenditure generally breaks down into two types, mileage and daily/overnight allowances.

What level of allowances are acceptable ?

There are two options available to businesses, prevailing Civil Service rates (or any rates less than these) and your own table or list of rates. If you chose to use the Civil Service rates, then Revenue approval is not required, but you should notify your tax office, whilst if you decide to use your own rates, then Revenue approval is required.

What do the Civil Service mileage rates look like ?

These rates are based on the engine capacity of the car and the annual business mileage of the claimant.

Civil Service mileage rates

Annual mileage
Capacity of engine
Less than 1200cc
1501cc and upwards
0 - 4000

How do I calculate the mileage ?

The mileage that qualifies is from 'place of work to place of work' , i.e. the mileage from where to you normally work to where you actually were required to work. Note, however, that where the business trip commences from home, the mileage is based on the lesser of the miles actually travelled and the miles that would have been travelled if the trip had started at the normal place of work. It is important to note that this scheme (for mileage rates) only applies where employees (including directors) use their own cars for business purposes.

The Civil Service night & day allowances

These rates will apply when you spend more than 24 hours away from the normal place of employment. Where extended periods are spent away from the normal workplace, then the following points should be noted:

· the normal rate is payable for periods up to 14 nights
· the reduced rate is payable for the next 14 nights
· the detention rate is payable for each of the next 28 nights
· if the period is over 56 nights then special rules apply
· the period of subsistence at any one location is limited to six months

The Civil Service rates use their own salary scales in determining the level of allowance

Night allowances
Day allowances
10 hours+
5 - 10 hours
€38.285 +
€21,639 +
€14,693 +
€12,092 - 18,565
€0 - 12,092

An opportunity exists where 'teamworkers' are concerned, as where employees are working as part of a team, and it is necessary for junior members to stay in the same accomodation as senior members, then the higher rates of allowances can also be paid to the junior team members.

To obtain a daily allowance, the place of absence must be more than five miles from the normal place of work.

What records are needed ?

If you choose the Civil Service rates, then you will need to record the following data

Subsistence expense claims
· the dates and length of the period during which work was performed other than at the normal place of work
· the location
· reason for absence from normal place of work

For mileage claims
· a mileage log detailing locations visited and purpose of visit should be kept for each employee to support the mileage claimed

We believe that this scheme offers an excellent means of extracting funds, particularly for directors. Anecdotal evidence indicates that some businesses expense rates may not be inline with the rates we have outlined, and, consequently, may need to be updated. Further, given the skills shortage in general, and the desire to reduce key staff turnover in particular, we feel this opportunity merits further consideration. We welcome your comments and further query on this scheme.