HMRC generally allow meal expenses where they are part of fulfilling a job or role at a temporary work place. Meal expenses can be claimed as they are incurred, based on the actual receipt amount. So make sure you keep all your receipts.
Use the HMRC benchmarks below as a guide only
The rate may be paid where an employee leaves home earlier than usual and before 6.00 am and incurs a cost on breakfast taken away from his home after the qualifying journey has started. If an employee usually leaves before 6.00 am the breakfast rate does not apply.
Late evening meal rate
The rate may be paid where the employee has to work later than usual, finishes work after 8.00 pm having worked his normal day and has to buy a meal before the qualifying journey ends which he would usually have at home.
The breakfast and late evening meal rates are for use in exceptional circumstances only and are not intended for employees with regular early or late work patterns
One meal (5 hour) rate
The rate may be paid where the employee has been undertaking qualifying travel for a period of at least 5 hours and has incurred the cost of a meal.
Two meal (10 hour) rate
The rate may be paid where the employee has been undertaking qualifying travel for a period of at least 10 hours and has incurred the cost of a meal or meals.
Benchmark scale rate payments must be limited to three meal rates on one day or 24 hour period. A meal is defined as a combination of food and drink and would take a normal dictionary meaning. Where employees are required to start early or finish late on a regular basis, the over 5 hour and 10 hour rate, whichever is applicable, can be paid provided that all the other qualifying rules are satisfied.
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