What travel costs can I claim for?
One regular cost that basically every construction worker has to contend with is work travel. In fact, for most people, that’s where the bulk of their yearly tax refund comes from.
If you travel for work, and not just to work, then you may have a refund claim. That means the taxman’s not just going to stuff your pockets full of cash every time you put your key in the ignition.
There are specific rules on the kinds of work travel that count for tax refunds. For example, if you always work in the same place and drive there from home every day, that’s just a regular commute. You can’t claim anything for that. In the building trade, though, most of the real work gets done at “temporary workplaces”.
In HMRC’s eyes, a temporary workplace is a site you’re working at for under 24 months. As long as you remember that rule, you shouldn’t go too far wrong. As with everything else in the tax world, though, things are never quite as simple as that. For instance, if you spend less than 40% of your time at a workplace, it might count as temporary even if you’re there for more than 24 months. Knowing exactly where you stand is the key to getting the most out of your tax refunds, which is why so many people call in the professionals to handle their claims.
Here’s another example. If you end up working at the same workplace for longer than you were originally expected to, your situation can change. In that case, you can usually still claim for travel to and from your workplace for that original 24-month period.