Clever Ways To Manage Your Travel Expenses

Google reviews
February 09, 2018

Some freelancers spend a lot of time behind the desk. Others barely sit down. Every self-employed worker is different. And, as a result, tax liabilities are never quite the same for any two people. Those who travel frequently, for example, may be entitled to claim expenses for their business-related journeys.

Sharpening up your travel expense management in 2018 can make a huge difference to your company, reducing your tax bill and improving your financial position.

If you’re out on the road regularly for work, be smart about travel expenses this year by following our list of tips…

Understand what you can claim for

Sadly, many freelancers are hit with extra charges after the tax-filing deadline because they’re misinformed. If your ideas of expenses don’t align with the taxman’s, you could get yourself into a bit a trouble. That’s why it’s crucial to understand what you’re actually permitted to claim for in terms of travel expenses.

The first thing to remember is that all transactions must be wholly business-related. If you’re travelling by train for a business meeting and stop off en route to see a friend, you won’t be able to claim this journey…because it has a personal element.

HMRC provide a list of what you can claim for on their website, with travel expenses covering fares, parking, fuel, servicing, insurance, hotel rooms and even meals in some cases.

Keep tight hold of your receipts

It’s likely the taxman will want some proof of any expenses you might claim for. After all, you can’t expect HMRC to simply take your word for it. That’s why you should always try to use your bank card (rather than cash) to pay for travel expenses. This way, you have digital proof of the transaction and a paper receipt to boot.

Any printed receipts can be sent as part of a paper tax return, but in the modern era it’s now possible to upload receipts digitally with tax software.

So, whatever the travel expense might be, always attempt to obtain proof of purchase. There’s a strong chance you’ll need it come tax time.

Take advantage of tools

Effective travel expense management comes down to record-keeping. Keeping a diary of all your business trips is recommended, but there are also a great selection of online tools that can help you manage your expenses.

FreeAgent, for example, offer a free trial for their software – which lets you manage your business and stay on top of trips from anywhere. Trabee Pocket, Concur and Tripcatcher are three examples of apps that can be easily downloaded to your smartphone – letting you record travel expenses as you go.

But the most powerful tool of all is your very own accountant. Bright Ideas Contractor & Freelancer can take care of you; telling you everything you need to know about self-employed travel expenses. Set up a free consultation with us right now to find out more.

travel expenses


Recent Articles

Inheritance Tax at record levels, but Business Relief can help

Inheritance Tax at record levels, but Business Relief can help

Inheritance Tax (IHT) has reached a record level in the UK, with £7.5 billion flowing into Treasury coffers in 2023/24, up from £7.1 billion the previous tax year. One key reason for this growing tax take is rising property prices - the average house price in the UK...

Tipping Act Code of Practice to bring fairness to employees

Tipping Act Code of Practice to bring fairness to employees

Whenever you leave a tip in a restaurant or a hairdressing salon, for example, you would hope that the tip money you left will go directly to the person who provided you the service you are tipping for. But for many restaurants and other industries, that hasn’t always...

Everyone should check their tax code now

Everyone should check their tax code now

HMRC will provide new tax codes at the start of every new tax year if the Personal Allowance has changed, if someone has had a change of circumstances, including perhaps had a pay rise, and even to those who are taking their pensions for the first time. It’s important...

Ready to join us?

Whether you’re a contractor, freelancer, or small business, Bright Ideas can help remove the burden of time-consuming and complex finances. We’ll draw on our years of knowledge and experience earned helping sole traders just like you.

When you choose us, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Account Manager who’ll provide one-on-one support that’s customised to your business. Communication is key, so we’ll always answer your questions or requests as soon as we can. In fact, we offer a same-day response guarantee for emails and calls received before 3pm.

Contact us to get started

Give us a call us or send an email today!

Looking to switch accountants?
We make the transition simple.

Does your current accountant give 1-to-1 support? Are they fast and thorough?
Slap-dash services hold businesses back, so try our experts instead.

Move to an accountancy service that goes the extra mile…

Start the conversation

Let’s make your finances Brighter

Call us Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

0161 669 4221

Request a call back