This category is what is often referred to as `Subsistence` in the Accounting world, but that's a dirty word at Ember. For example things that would be included here are lunches paid for when on a work trip or buying yourself something to eat at your clients office. You can't allocate any personal groceries here or unreasonable expenses, but you can grab a snack when you are out doing work offsite.

What's included

Meals away from your normal place of work or a coffee for yourself at your clients premises.

What's not included

Personal groceries, alcohol or anything deemed by HMRC as excessive will create a benefit in kind.

How is it taxed?

Given the meal cost is reasonable and in relation to a business journey, the expenditure is an allowable deduction and comes off your pre-tax profit.

A contractor that makes a business journey that qualifies for tax relief, then the expenditure on meals purchased can be an unavoidable extra expense of having to travel and therefore a meal allowance cost.

Tax tips

As a contractor, you are more often than not, working at your clients premises so don't forget to pop those lunches/coffees through this category.

Food and drink provided to staff and directors at their normal place of work is strictly a benefit in kind, unless provided to all on an equal and reasonable basis (i.e. tea and biscuits in a staff kitchen). If each person receives less than £50 of food/drink on each occasion/pro-rated and less than £300 over the course of the tax year no reportable benefit in kind should arise.

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