The Deputy is seeking clarity regarding the term “normal place of work” in the context of the eligibility of a person to claim income tax relief in respect of the expenses of business mileage from their home, which the person regards as their normal place of work. The person in question has the use of a company car and spends a small percentage of their working time working at their employer’s head office and the rest of their working time working in the field and from home.
I am advised by Revenue where an employee uses his/her private car for business purposes, and he/she incurs the total cost of such usage (for example, insurance, tax, running costs), then the reimbursement in respect of the cost of business use of the car can be made free of tax by the employer by reference to either a flat rate per kilometre allowance (i.e. prevailing civil service “mileage rates”) or actual costs incurred. However, in this instance, the employee in question is provided with the use of a company car and, in such circumstances, an income tax benefit in kind charge in respect of the use of the vehicle may arise for the employee. Where an employee is obliged to personally incur some of the running costs (e.g. fuel), the benefit in kind charge is reduced accordingly. Further guidance on the charge to benefit in kind on the provision of a car to an employee may be found on Revenue’s website.
It is not clear from the information provided whether the person concerned intends to claim business mileage expenses from his/her employer or to make a claim for income tax relief in respect of the expenses to Revenue. In addition, the exact nature and circumstances of his/her working arrangements and requirements are not clear. Although it is not possible for Revenue to express a view on the “normal place of work” in this specific case having regard to the information furnished by the Deputy, Revenue has advised that the person concerned has made direct contact with them on this query. Revenue will follow up the query with the person and, subject to receipt of further information, will advise them of their tax entitlements regarding motoring expenses.