The 24-month rule, also referred to as the two-year rule, enables contractors to claim travel expenses from their home to a client’s office, as long as it is classed as a “temporary workplace”.
The following conditions must apply for a work location to be classed as a “temporary workplace”
- The period of engagement is less than 24 months
- The contractor should spend less than 40 percent of their time at the workplace
Essentially, if you work at the client’s office for more than 24 months, or spend more than 40 percent of your time at the location, it is considered a permanent workplace—and as such, you won’t be able to claim travel or subsistence expenses.
Bear in mind that this is subject to the SDC legislation introduced in April 2016. Further elaboration on SDC can be found in our guide to claiming expenses as an umbrella company contractor.
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Can I expense Travel & subsistence?
You can claim travel-related expenses, as long as the travel is wholly and exclusively for business purposes and isn't considered 'ordinary commuting'. HMRC defines a commute as a trip that you make between your home and a permanent workplace.
You can claim for:
- costs associated with running a car or vehicle, such as fuel expenses, parking fees and tolls.
- transport fares for flights, as well as rides taken via train, bus, taxi and ferries
- meals and accommodation for overnight business trips
You can claim "reasonable" food and drink expenses if:
- You're making an occasional business trip outside of your normal pattern of travel
- You're staying overnight, and are also claiming accommodation costs
- Your trade is, by nature itinerant
What are benefits in kind?
For self-employed persons or employers, it can be challenging trying to understand the rules surrounding benefits in kind. These can be complicated; some benefits are taxable while others aren't, and it gets tricky figuring out which rules apply to your situation.
To make things a little easier to understand, we've written up a quick guide below. After reading our guide, you'll understand what benefits in kind are, have a clearer idea of which ones are taxable (and which ones aren't), and get an overview of what you need to do when it comes to reporting and paying taxes on benefits in kind.
Do keep in mind that this isn't a definitive guide, as HMRC's decision to impose a tax varies by situation. If you need specific advice, doconsult our specialist accountants at Forma.
Can I claim personally paid expenses?
There may be times when you have no option but to use your personal funds to cover company costs such as paying by cash or if you forget to bring your company card. It's important to keep a copy of the receipt of all expenses but this is especially important when paying for costs and expenses personally. This way, a record of the cost can be kept, logged in your company accounts and then your company can reimburse you for this.
Your Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss explained
Here's where our article comes in, so you can quickly get a grip on the basics.
Do I need to retain expense receipts?
You need to keep your receipts for expenses for at least five years after the 31 January submission deadline for the relevant tax year.
It helps to minimise paperwork wherever possible, so we recommend taking a picture of your receipts and storing these images away digitally. You can use cloud storage platforms like Dropbox or an expenses app like Expensify.
What are Bank Deposits and depositing cheques?
A bank deposit involves placing money into an account with a banking institution. Depositing a cheque is one way to make a deposit. You can also deposit cash or make a funds transfer.
Can I claim using the cycle to work scheme?
Employers who purchase bicycles and safety equipment for loan to employees can benefit from treating the purchase as capital expenditure eligible for corporation tax relief. VAT can also be claimed back on the purchase unless you are registered on the VAT flat rate scheme.
The loan of bicycles and safety equipment under the cycle to work scheme removes any tax charge to the employee that would usually arise on a taxable benefit.
Can I expense Social Media Ads or Marketing Costs?
Yes, you can claim the costs of social media ads as a deductible expense.
What are Invoice numbers?
An invoice number is a unique number that is assigned to each invoice. This number is one of the most important elements of every invoice. Its role is to identify transactions, so it needs to be unique. Invoice number can contain only numbers or letters and numbers. It may contain date of issue, name of project or task.
What is a Balance Sheet?
A balance sheet is a financial statement that provides a snapshot of the financial condition of a company, showing how much it owns (assets), owes (liabilities) and the amount that is left over for its owners (owners' equity) at a specific point in time. It is typically completed at the end of a month or a financial year.
Can I expense Office rental?
Yes, you can claim office rental and the costs of using a coworking space as a deductible business expense.