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Here's When You Can Claim Alcohol On Your Work Expenses

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Here's When You Can Claim Alcohol On Your Work Expenses

You may already be aware of this or you may not, but if you ever find yourself travelling for work, you should probably go armed with the knowledge that you're entitled to claim a wee drink with your dinner, under government guidelines.

If you've ever been sat around of an evening in an unfamiliar city, eating a potentially disappointing meal and wondering whether you can get a glass of wine or a pint along with it, you'll be pleased to learn that these things are actually cleared up in employment law.

So, treat yourself to that pint, and then have no fear about sticking in the receipt, because - according to GOV.uk - under 'deductible subsistence expenses': "Allowable expenses can include the cost of a meal, the cost of a reasonable level of refreshments (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) with the meal and refreshments such as tea, coffee or soft drinks taken between meals."

Obviously, the key take-home message here is - don't take the p***.

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One pint is fine, 10 pints? Not so much. Credit: PA
One pint is fine, 10 pints? Not so much. Credit: PA

If you decide to drink a whole bottle of Dom Perignon, or get absolutely wasted drinking 12 pints, you're unlikely to see that money again.

HMRC will also take a dim view if you decide to eat your meal at a ridiculously expensive restaurant, so take that into account, too.

To be fair, if you think that's a 'reasonable level' of refreshments, you probably want to have a word with yourself.

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But, rest easy in the knowledge that you're allowed a small amount of booze to help you unwind after a hard day.

In order for these 'deductible subsistence expenses' to apply, as well as being reasonable, you'll need to incur the cost as a direct result of having been sent off somewhere for your work.

Obviously, you'll need food and drink to survive, but the rules on what can be claimed are less hard and fast.

Depending on where you work, sparkling wine might not be deemed 'reasonable'. Credit: PA
Depending on where you work, sparkling wine might not be deemed 'reasonable'. Credit: PA
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Furthermore, there are also rules surrounding getting a takeaway.

According to accounting firm Caseron, staff who are 'required to work late at night at their normal place of work may claim for a takeaway meal, but a director/owner working late at night at home may not - as this is a personal choice and the option to prepare a meal is available to them'.

Anyway, there's the info, so use it as you will. Just remember that word - 'reasonable' - if you don't want to get in trouble or end up out of pocket.

Hell, it's probably just remembering that anyway.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Work, UK News, Money, Interesting, travel

Tom Wood
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