Travel rules for the self-employed are a little different than for those who operate through a Limited company. We have outlined on our blog post HERE how to claim motor travel costs, but we must first of all be sure that the travel in question is an allowable expense.

It is all about the ‘base of operations’ which is where the self-employed person carries on their work. There can be more than one ‘base of operations’ and it can be an area rather than a single location.

Travel between home and the ‘base of operations’ is not an allowable expense.

Examples of bases of operations are:

– the delivery round for a milkman

– a market for a market trader

The exceptions to this are where the trade is a ‘travelling occupation’ or ‘itinerant in nature’. For example if you are a travelling sales person or regularly visit different clients. In these circumstances all business travel can be claimed.

Now to throw another ‘spanner into the works’, if the travel is simply to a temporary base of operations it can actually be claimed!

The broad rule is that if a person is spending 40% or more of their time at a base of operations for a continuous period of 24 months or more then it should be regarded as a permanent base of operations, therefore travel would then not be allowable.

It should be noted that case law is still developing in this area.

See here for an example of overseas travel costs for the self employed.