At Last! – Revenue Update Subsistence Expenses Rates

Revenue have today announced a limited and long-overdue increase in the maximum rates of subsistence expenses that  employees and directors can claim tax-free for time spent working away from their normal base.

From 1 July 2015, the following daily rates will apply:

Day Allowances From 1 July 2015  Up to 30 June 2015
10 hours+ €33.61 €33.61
 5-10 hours €14.01 €13.71

And the new overnight rates are as follows:

Overnight Allowances From 1 July 2015  Up to 30 June 2015
Normal Rate €125.00 €107.69-108.99
Reduced Rate €112.50 €92.11-€100.48
Detention Rate €62.50 €53.87-€54.48

This is the first increase in allowable Subsistence rates since the late Finance Minister Brian Lenihan slashed them by 25% during the 2009 financial crisis.

Subsistence Claims

It is telling that the maximum day rate of €33.61 (which remains unchanged since 2009, for some reason) is 13% lower than the corresponding rate of €38.57 that applied 10 years ago in 2005.

Can the shortfall be explained by lower food and other costs? I don’t think so…

There is no mention by Revenue of any changes to the allowable rates for motor expenses. Did the recent falls in global oil prices allow the government off the hook here?

An increase in the allowable motor expenses rates is long overdue. Like the subsistence rates, motor expense rates were dramatically cut by 25% in March 2009, and haven’t been restored since.

At that time, the price of a litre of motor diesel was below €1. Today, despite recent falls, it is still over 30% higher.

The updated Revenue guide to subsistence claims also outlines their notoriously complex terms and conditions.

if these are breached, some or all of the payments will attract a tax charge, and possibly interest & penalties.  So tread carefully…