You are allowed to claim expenses for flights, accommodation and more when you travel to a temporary location for business-related purposes. Just make sure the expense is reasonable and not excessive. Remember, as a contractor you are travelling to and from a client most days if you are office based, so you can claim the tube fare.
Business related flights
Accommodation when on a business trip
Tube, bus, rail, Uber & taxi fares to clients
Late night Uber home after working to meet a deadline
What's not included
Travel to and from your normal place of work as an employee.
How is it taxed?
Travel expenses are generally allowed where all of the following conditions are met:
1. You're responsible for paying the travel costs.
2. The travel is necessary for your work.
3. It shouldn't be 'ordinary commuting' - HMRC define this as the journey between home and a permanent workplace (see below for definition).
A permanent workplace is defined as a place you attend regularly that forms a 'base' to work from, for example the 9 till 5 office. Be careful when claiming here however, as HMRC also look for patterns in your travel. For example if you attend a meeting at a different office every Thursday morning, this could be deemed a pattern of travel and mean that the expense cannot be claimed.
A workplace will be regarded as permanent if the following apply:
You've spent more than 40% of your total working time at this same location
AND you've worked there continuously for 24 months
OR you intend to be at the workplace for more than 24 months
OR you work there for all, or almost all, of the time you were an employee or director of your limited company at the same workplace.
The workplace becomes permanent from the moment that you show intent to remain there for more than 24 months. You are allowed to claim for any travel to and from up until the point of forming this intention. That means you are okay to claim if you are contracting for a company up until the time you move permanent or make the intentions to stay for longer than 24 months as a contractor.
Remember if you or your team are travelling to other countries to work you may be triggering tax obligations in those other countries - remember to get separate personal tax advice for any team members who this may apply to.