man and woman in office looking at a laptop together
Should Someone Else Do My Tax Rebate?
7 October 2019
Hand reaching for a file on a shelf full of files
Keeping Receipts and Invoices Safe
14 April 2020

Can Builders Claim Subsistence Expenses?

Published: 31 March 2020

Working as a construction worker in 2020 means making the most of the tax reliefs and benefits available to you. As Brexit’s new immigration policy casts ambiguity over the ability to assemble a cost effective and flexible builder workforce, you may soon find construction companies looking to secure and extend the working relationships that are currently in place. 

Ensuring you are making the most of the tax breaks available to you means you are able to further enjoy the rewards of the role you are fulfilling. 

What subsistence expenses can I claim as a builder? 

The criteria for claiming subbsistence expenses is different for Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) workers and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) workers: 

CIS workers can claim back subsistence expenses when working at a temporary workplace, which is typically categorised as a location  that you intend to spend 24 months or less at. This testing measure is known as the 24 month rule, and you can find out more on it through HMRCs website

PAYE workers with a singular place of work are not eligible to claim subsistence expenses for typical workdays; however, if the assignment calls for travel to another site away from the ordinary place of work, PAYE workers are eligible to claim subsistence expenditure during this period. 

What exactly is a subsistence expense? 

Subsistence expenses relate to food that you purchase whilst on the go and it is closely tied in with travel. Understandably, this benefit is only available to workers who are required to accommodate the needs of the hiring company, and need to make adjustments to their personal routine. 

Are you maximising your benefits?

Have you taken advantage of the eligible travel and subsistence claims available to you?

At Brian Alfred, we’re experts in all things tax. That’s why we’re always able to offer advice and support. If you work in the construction industry and you’ve overpaid on the cost of your travel, you could be due a tax rebate. 

To find out how we can help, give our team a call on 0800 464 0358 or email  

Need help?

We look after limited companies, sole traders, freelancers, contractors and CIS workers.

Ready to get started?