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Claiming meal expenses and allowances: A contractor’s guide

Another effective way of making financial savings as a contractor is to claim meal allowances or expenses.

However, there are limitations — your entire daily food intake is not covered!

Our simple guide should help to explain when you can and cannot claim.


When you CAN claim meal expenses

Meal expense claims should be made as a travel expense i.e. it should compensate you for a cost incurred outside of the normal workplace.

Examples of this might include a meal while working on a remote site or when your job requires you to stay away from home overnight.

In short, if you make a journey for work purposes which qualifies for tax relief then the meal cost is allowable.


When you CAN claim meal expenses as a limited company

When your work situation forces you to dine out you can deduct food expenses with receipts.

As such, it is very important that you keep the receipts as they will act as evidence should HMRC choose to inspect your records in the future.


When you CANNOT claim meal expenses

Sadly, it is not possible to claim for all of your meals while at work.

In fact, where ‘offsite’ meals are part of your working routine, HMRC does not consider them an allowable expense.


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