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Motor/Travel Expenses

By Noone Casey

A self-employed person can set off the motor expenses in respect of the use of a private car for business purposes.


No tax liability is incurred where there is reimbursement by the employer of vouched expenses incurred for the purposes of the trade.

If a round sum expense allowance is given to an employee, it is regarded as income and taxed accordingly under PAYE. Subsequently, a claim for refund of income tax can be made based on allowable business expenditure incurred.

An employee may claim a mileage allowance, where they use their own private cars for business purposes and pay all expenses including petrol/diesel, insurance and other overheads. Provided the reimbursement is in accordance with Revenue guidelines at rates not in excess of Civil Service Mileage Rates, no prior agreement with the Inspector of Taxes is required.


From 1st April 2017 (Rate per km)

Distance Bands
Engine capacity Engine capacity Engine capacity
  up to 1,200cc 1,200cc to 1,500cc 1,501 cc and over
  (cent) (cent) (cent)
Band 1        0 – 1,500 km  37.95 39.86 44.79
Band 2        1,501 – 5,550 km   70.00 73.21 83.53
Band 3        5,501 – 25,000 km  27.55 29.03 32.21
Band 4        25,001 km and over  21.36 22.23 25.85

Travel between home and work is not regarded as being for business purposes.

Subsistence Allowances

Subsistence allowance can be paid to staff who work away from base in carrying out their duties of employment.


From July 2015

  Over Night Allowance Day Allowance
  Normal Rate Reduced Rate Detention Rate 10 hours or more 5 to 10 Hours
  147.00 132.30 73.50 14.01 14.01

Normal Rate: Up to 14 nights

Reduced rate: Next 14 nights

Detention rate: Absence over 28 nights.

Special rules apply to absences over 56 nights.

The day and night allowance cannot be paid in respect of the same period

There are detailed rules and conditions governing the payment of subsistence allowances. Advice should be taken before proceeding with any payments.


Travel Expenses Non–Executive Directors

Finance Acts 2015 and 2016 provides for an Income Tax exemption for certain vouched travel and subsistence expenses of non-executive company directors incurred in attending board meetings. Expenses must be incurred solely for the purposes of attendance at meetings in the individual’s capacity as a director