Mileage and Subsistence Allowances

Issues for Contractors

There is a lot of news at present regarding Revenue audits specifically with regard to contractors incorrectly claiming civil service mileage and subsistence allowances.

Please note that the actual rules haven’t changed with regard to mileage and subsistence and these rules are summarised below. Mileage and subsistence can be claimed by an employee but certain rules and guidelines need to be followed.

A.        Mileage may be claimed in respect of business journeys (but not journeys for which you are already reimbursed by the client) within reasonable limits. Examples might include journeys from your home office (if you are obliged to carry out substantive duties there) to your client’s offices, journeys for networking purposes, visits to professional advisers, visits to libraries/bookshops for research purposes, or journeys to training conferences or for job interviews. Civil service rates will apply.  We will provide an automated expense sheet to assist in keeping these records.

B.         Travel expenses may be claimed in respect of business journeys but not journeys which you are already reimbursed by the client.  Documentary evidence needs to be supplied i.e. flight or taxi receipts.

C.         Subsistence expenses may be claimed in respect of journeys which take you away from your from your main place of work for 5 hours or longer but not those which are already reimbursed by the client. Civil service rates will apply. The automated expense sheet provided will assist in keeping these records.

Home Office

You should note that the treatment of travel expenses from your home office is a grey area. The Revenue has stated that in order for a person to qualify as a home office they must carry out a substantive proportion of their duties from there. However they have not defined what a substantive proportion of ones duties are. Revenue have also stated that the employee’s home would not be regarded as the normal place of work unless there is an objective requirement that the duties of the office or employment must be performed at home. It is not sufficient for an employee merely to carry out some of the duties at home. Usually, the employer will provide the facilities necessary for the work to be performed at the business premises. Even where the employee has to do some work at home or to keep some equipment at home, the place where he/she resides is a matter of personal choice and it would not be regarded as a place of work.

Further Information

If you require further information in relation to any of these topics please contact Joe Cunnane on 01 6424208 or joe@tra-professional.ie


This briefing is provided for general information purposes only and is not a comprehensive or complete statement of the issues it relates to. It should not be used as a substitute for advice on individual cases. Before acting or refraining from acting in particular circumstances, specialist advice should be obtained. No liability can be accepted by TRA Professional Services for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of any material in this briefing.

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Joe Cunnane Practice Owner TRA Professional Services       Qualifications:  FCA Chartered Accountant & AITI Chartered Tax Advisor Joe has over 20 years experience working in both private practice and industry ... Read More »