Abolition of receipt checking for benchmark scale rates and changes to overseas scale rates

16 July 2018

As announced at Autumn Statement 2017 from April 2019, receipts for subsistence reimbursement will no longer need to be checked by employers. Also, the concessionary accommodation and subsistence overseas scale rates will become statutory.

Both of these measures will save time and provide clarity for employers.

The draft Finance Bill 2018-19 includes the measure which abolishes receipt checking by employers when they reimburse benchmark scale rate, overseas scale rates, or qualifying expenses incurred travelling to work.

This clause removes the requirement for employers to check receipts or other forms of documentary evidence of the amounts spent by employees when using the HMRC benchmark scale rates to pay or reimburse their employees’ qualifying subsistence expenses.

This measure will allow HMRC to bring the concessionary exemption for overseas scale rates into legislation. Similar to benchmark scale rates, there will be no requirement for employers to check amounts spent in order to pay or reimburse employee expenses using overseas scale rates free from tax, but they will need to ensure the employees are undertaking qualifying travel on the occasions in respect of which a payment is made or reimbursed.

If you have any questions about this change, or comments on the legislation, please contact the Employment Income Team email: employmentincome.policy@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.