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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

Subsistence Self-Employed Delivery Driver

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:20 am

Subsistence Self-Employed Delivery Driver

Postby echonnie » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:24 am


I am wondering if I can include my meals throughout the day as a business expense... The reason for asking that is because of 3 accounting agencies telling me different things! Some of them say you can include everything while others say no you cannot and third you can include it but some of it!

My workplace is temporary (I do not have a specific workplace) as I go on my motorbike and just drive around the city and accept delivery orders.


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Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:06 pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Subsistence Self-Employed Delivery Driver

Postby pawncob » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:50 pm

Wouldn't you eat regardless of whether you were working or not? In what way is it business dependent?
With a pinch of salt take what I say, but don't exceed your RDA

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Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: Subsistence Self-Employed Delivery Driver

Postby etf » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:22 pm

The following was taken from a 2016 edition of Tax Adviser:

For years the Caillebotte v Quinn logic [1975] 50 TC 222, ruled, and applied the wholly and exclusively logic to self-employed taxpayers who ate and drank in the course of their self-employment.

The Caillebotte logic specifically covered a building contractor’s daily lunchtime sandwich, so advisers were still struggling with an evening meal.

In 2009, the ITTOIA legislation was modified with the insertion of s 57A, which codified and slightly ameliorated the harsh logic of the Caillebotte decision and now specifically allows for subsistence costs (reasonable expenses on food and drink), where travel is occasional and outside of normal travel patterns, or for itinerant trades.

So, the courts have generally accepted that if travel is allowable, the reasonable food costs say for evening eating is also allowable (see also BIM47705).

This effectively tells us that if Stuart is struggling to get a deduction for his travel, then he will also struggle with his subsistence costs, and even if the circumstances were such that he could claim travel and subsistence costs, travelling and staying with Jean raises the spectre of duality of purpose (the pleasure of her company in the same B&B) and even whether they could both claim tax relief for effectively the same travel.

We are always surprised by how diversely deductibility of subsistence costs is interpreted by practitioners and we regularly hear at conferences for example, that some advisers will allow alcohol and some will not – perhaps the Temperance movement has come to tax.

Certainly we cannot find any legislative suggestion that alcohol is a pleasure and therefore next to sin and therefore taxable. So have a drink on the Chancellor (see also BIM47705)!

We also wonder if in the name of simplicity sole traders should be allowed to have flat rate deductions for food and drink that are available for employees.

So, we cannot but conclude that in the absence of an effort to redraft the legislation in clearer terms for the self-employed, the rules will remain a box of sundered fragments.

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Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: Subsistence Self-Employed Delivery Driver

Postby etf » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:26 pm

Subsistence expenses
3.—(1) In the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005(1), after section 57 insert—

“Subsistence expenses
57A Expenses incurred by traders on food and drink
(1) In calculating the profits of a trade, a deduction is allowed for any reasonable expenses incurred on food or drink for consumption by the trader at a place to which the trader travels in the course of carrying on the trade, or while travelling to a place in the course of carrying on the trade, if conditions A and B are met.

(2) Condition A is met if—

(a)a deduction is allowed for the expenses incurred by the trader in travelling to the place, or
(b)where the expenses of travelling to the place are not incurred by the trader, a deduction would be allowed for them if they were.
(3) Condition B is met if—

(a)at the time the expenses are incurred on the food or drink, the trade is by its nature itinerant, or
(b)the trader does not travel to the place more than occasionally in the course of carrying on the trade and either—
(i)the travel in connection with which the expenses are incurred on the food or drink is undertaken otherwise than as part of the trader’s normal pattern of travel in the course of carrying on the trade, or
(ii)the trader does not have such a normal pattern of travel.”.
(2) The amendment made by this article has effect for the tax year 2009-10 and subsequent tax years.

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