Late night travel expenses

By Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford

The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Late night travel expenses
  • Introduction
  • Exemption for travel home after late night working
  • Failure of car sharing arrangements
  • Where the employee bears the cost
  • Reporting requirements


In general, travel expenses between an employee’s permanent place of work and home are covered by the ordinary commuting rules (see the Commuting expenses guidance note). As such, the cost of travel between those locations is not allowable as a tax deduction. Similarly, if the amounts are reimbursed by an employer then those amounts give rise to a taxable benefit.

Despite the general rule there are some legislative concessions. There may be instances where the provision of late night travel arrangements by an employer does not give rise to a taxable benefit. Broadly speaking, the following could be exempt from tax:

  • late night journeys
  • travel provided because of failure of car sharing arrangements

The conditions for these exemptions are discussed below.

The key legislation is found at ITEPA 2003, s 248.

Exemption for travel home after late night working

The exemption applies to journey paid for (or reimbursed) by an employer. They apply only to journeys that the employee makes to his home not to those into his permanent place of work, eg when he is called to work in an emergency.

In order for the exemption relating to late night working to apply, a number of requirements must be met. All must be satisfied for the exemption to apply.

As with all exemptions, it is advisable for the employer to maintain accurate records to prove that conditions for the exemption have been met by the employee. It is also advisable to have suitable processes and controls in place so that the employer can prove to HMRC that the requirements within the legis

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