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Top questions

Can you claim travel expenses for work?

You may be able to claim travel expenses for work, depending on your company’s travel and expenses policy.

What do companies allow their workforce to claim expenses for?

Typically, companies allow employees to claim expenses incurred for travel outside of their normal place of work e.g. a business meeting at a client site, travel to events and even food and drink on-the-go . This could be a sales team meeting clients at their offices to connect face-to-face or a marketing team going to a conference where their target audience will be in attendance. Work travel can look different from company to company and team to team.

However, travel expenses must be associated with a business reason – they have to be incurred for the purpose of carrying out work for the organisation. Most organisations have an expenses claim policy and process that means the employee has to provide receipts and a business justification for any travel expenses they reclaim.

What kind of business travel expenses are employees able to claim?

Employees may claim travel expenses for any kind of transport or travel to work-related destinations that are not their usual base. This might typically include:

  • Flights and airfare
  • Rail travel
  • Car or vehicle rental
  • Taxi or rideshare fares
  • Bus or coach travel
  • Mileage allowance or fuel costs for use of own vehicle

Travel expenses can also include the minor fees that are incurred on a trip, such as:

  • Airport parking fees
  • Checked baggage and luggage fees
  • In-flight wifi charges

What kind of expenses can remote workers claim?

Costs incurred by employees while they are living and working in another location can also be claimed. For example:

  • Hotels, lodgings, serviced apartments or short-term accommodation rentals
  • Nightly allowance for staying with a friend or relative
  • Subsistence allowance (for food and drink away from home)
  • Laundry
  • Wifi charges

How can the business travel expenses process be improved?

Using an expense management application with automation capabilities that can be customised to your business policy will provide instant clarity for your employees around what can be claimed and the budget parameters. Some travel management systems allow you to book your business travel directly against an opportunity, project or campaign within your CRM. This helps organisations to calculate and understand the return on investment (ROI) of travel expenses. And on the traveller side, the best expense management applications can use OCR (Optimal Character Recognition) technology that allows you to quickly and efficiently submit your expenses on the go using your smartphone, rather than allowing them to pile up for a tedious and time-consuming once-a-month submission process.

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