International business travel: employer responsibilities

International business travel: expenses

Employers are advised to find out which expenses can be classed as allowances and whether money received by employees is subject to taxation. Expenses and benefits: travel and subsistence.

Tax and expenses when travelling for business purposes

Before travelling on business, employees should know which costs are allowable under the tax rules. The tax rules give relief for certain expenses incurred by employees who travel abroad on business. In general employers can meet or reimburse the actual cost of subsistence expenses and other incidental expenses without the employee incurring a tax charge. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) guidance on travel expenses.

If expenses aren't allowable under those rules, see special rules for employees travelling to work outside the UK.

If an employee whose permanent home is not in the UK has to travel abroad for work, see travelling expenses: employees working but not domiciled in the UK.

Overseas business travel: accommodation and subsistence benchmark rates

Employers can use benchmark rates published on the HMRC website when paying accommodation and subsistence expenses to employees travelling overseas. See scale rate expenses payment: employee travelling outside the UK.

Accommodation and subsistence payments paid or reimbursed at or below the published rates will not be liable for income tax or National Insurance contributions for employees who travel abroad.

Important: The UK has left the EU and there is now a transition period until the end of 2020. This information is still current but could change. Any changes will be documented here. For more information, see Brexit support for employers.