No inflation increase to HMRC worldwide subsistence rates

HMRC has confirmed that worldwide subsistence rates for expenses claims for employees travelling outside the UK will not be increased to account for post Brexit currency depreciation or inflation

This means that the current HMRC scale rate expenses payments for employee travelling outside the UK remain unchanged for the next 12 months and the values published in October 2014 will continue to apply for the year effective October 2017.

Benchmark scale rate expenses payments for accommodation and subsistence payments to employees are broken down by country in local currency and show rates for essentials from accommodation and meals to travelling between hotel and office, for example. Rates are based on a mixture of different criteria, from room rate to ‘total residual rate’, down to five and 10-hour visits.

Employers can reimburse subsistence to employees by making a scale rate payment.

For most countries, there are benchmark rates for the larger cities as well as an ‘elsewhere’ rate. Employers must ensure that they refer to the table entry for the city where the employee stayed, or the elsewhere rate, as appropriate.

Rates are quoted in the relevant foreign currency, US$ or euros.

The benchmark rates do not cover incidental, allowable expenses that employees may incur en route - for example, the cost of a taxi to the airport in the UK, or necessary refreshments taken at the airport. Employers can reimburse these expenses separately, in addition to paying the benchmark rates.

Before claiming, companies with employees who travel abroad for business purposes should also refer to the guidance on the use of worldwide subsistence rates. Employment Income Manual EIM05255 last updated 4 October 2017. 

Worldwide subsistence rates issued effective 1 October 2014

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