Can I Claim Tax Relief for Commuting to Hybrid Work Arrangement?

Q: I’ve started a new job quite recently with a hybrid working arrangement. I work from home 3 or 4 days per week, so that is my main place of work. However, I do have a significant journey – it takes more than two hours when I do go in. In terms of expenses, do my journeys to work qualify for tax relief?

A: Thanks for your question. This is actually a subject which has risen to the surface lately after HMRC issued a clarification. The upshot is that when a hybrid worker travels to their employer’s office, it does NOT qualify for tax relief.

We’ve seen a debate on this since hybrid became a new common working pattern after the pandemic, with some arguing the case that going to the office should count as a ‘journey in the performance of the duties of employment’. Under this description, these travel expenses normally do qualify for tax relief for employees.

The new HMRC guidance stated: ‘The fact that an employee’s home is treated as a workplace for tax purposes is not enough, on its own, to enable the employee to obtain relief under Section 337 for the expenses of travelling to another permanent workplace. For most people, the place where they live is a matter of personal choice. So the expense of travelling from home to any other place is a consequence of that personal choice, not an objective requirement of their job.’

It adds: ‘The expenses of travelling from home to another workplace do not qualify for relief under Section 337 unless the location of the employee’s home is itself dictated by the requirements of the job.’

However, if you were on a remote worker contract, as many these days are, that would be different if you were asked to travel into an office.

The HMRC guidance says on this: ‘Where an employee’s home is itself a place of work, the cost of travel between there and other permanent workplaces may sometimes be deductible under Section 337 as travel in the performance of the duties.’



in Monthly Tax Q&A Tags: Hybrid workOffice-based worktax relief