What is the 24-month rule and how does it apply to me?

The most common expenses claimed by contractors are for travel and subsistence.

The 24-month rule allows contractors to claim travel expenses from home to a qualifying workplace, together with subsistence, for up to 24 months. A qualifying workplace assumes the workplace passes a basic “temporary workplace” test. For example:

  • The contract will last less than 24 months.
  • The length of the contract is uncertain.
  • The length of the contract is less than 24 months, however, if the contract gets extended past 24 months, travel expenses cannot be claimed from the date of change.

The 24-month rule is calculated from when you first start travelling to your client’s premises from either your home or office until the end of the contract, if it is less than 24 months, or until you have reason to believe your contract may last over 24 months.

For example, if you were to start a new contract with a different department but your end client remained the same, the 24-month rule does not restart with the new department you are working in, but continues to run from when the first contract was started with the client.

Equally, if you start a new contract with a different end client but the commute remains the same, the 24-month rule does not restart with a new contract.

If the original contract was for 12 months and you were then offered another contract for 14 months to run consecutively, and you accepted the new contract, you would no longer be able to claim travel expenses or subsistence from the point you knew your time at your client‘s site would exceed 24 months.

The above are some of the basic conditions relating to the 24-month rule and contractors should always take these into account when claiming travel or subsistence expenses.

Please click here for a more detailed explanation of the 24-month rule.

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