Whilst there is usually no tax relief for ordinary commuting – home to work – there are a number of exceptions. The term 'ordinary commuting' is defined to mean travel between a permanent workplace and home, or any other place that is not a workplace. Case law has established the principle that travelling between your home and a permanent workplace is not a travel expense related to the performance of your duties.
The rules are different for temporary workplaces where the expense is allowable. A workplace is defined as a temporary workplace if an employee only goes there to perform a task of limited duration or for a temporary purpose.
Other home to work travel that may be allowed includes:
- where the employee has a travelling appointment;
- where the employee’s home is a place of work and the place where the employee lives is dictated by the requirements of the job;
- where the duties of the employment are carried out wholly or partly outside the UK;
- where a non-domiciled employee is working in the UK;
- emergency call-outs.
There are also specific exemptions from tax for works bus services and subsidies paid to public bus services as well as for the provision by an employer of bicycles and cycling equipment in order to encourage environmentally friendly transport between home and work.