Subsistence is the tax term for food and drink.
For subsistence to be allowable the taypaer needs to be travelling to a place in the course of carrying on their trade/profession or staying away on business. So, travel has to also qualify as business travel.
A claim must be reasonable and made on the basis of expenses actually incurred. HMRC expect receipts or evidence of expenditure to be retained.
Two conditions must be met:
- Travel expenses would qualify for a deduction for business travel (whether incurred or not) and
- (a)The taxpayer is engaged in a trade/profession that is “itinerant” – carried on at different places – by nature at the time or, (b) the taxpayer only travels to the place occasionally and this travel is not part of a normal pattern of travel, or there is no normal pattern of travel.
These rules started life on the basis that the self-employed should not be treated differently than employees in respect of subsistence. Clearly there is a difference; employees can claim subsistence on any journey, the self-employed cannot.