Tax return reminder - travel costs

A reminder of the effects of the Samadian case on travelling costs.

In the hustle and bustle of tax return season it’s useful to remember tax cases that could cause problems when completing tax returns.

The Samadian case is such a case as it outlines the key considerations when considering what relief is available for travel and when travel to work is not travel to work. As a reminder, the Tribunal provided guidance to support its decision and to provide advice going forward, which takes the form of four main points:

  • travel expenses for journeys between places of business for purely business purposes are treated as deductible;
  • travel expenses for journeys between a location which is not a place of business and a location which is a place of business are not deductible;
  • travel expenses for journeys between home (even where the home is used as a place of business) and places of business are treated as non-deductible (other than in very exceptional circumstances, such as if Dr Samadian were at one of the private hospitals preparing to see a patient, and he realised that he needed his notes on the patient but he had left the notes in his office at home and he made a special trip to go home to collect the notes, but immediately returned to the hospital to see the patient); and
  • travel expenses are treated as deductible in relation to itinerant work (such as Dr Samadian's home visits to patients).

Judgement will need to be made on a journey-by-journey basis. This means that it is vital to keep robust records of all business journeys undertaken.