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Travel Expenses mess

 
#1 Travel Expenses mess
12/02/2011 16:38

Confuscious

Hi,

Really not sure if this is the right place to ask but asked my HR team and not happy with their answer as they werent too sure either!

So, I live in Woking with the office based in London. Recently, I got put a client role at Reading and been commuting daily by train.

My question is - I know I have to foot the bill for Woking to London but given I now work temporarily at Reading, can I legally claim back season ticket costs between Reading(client) and Woking(home)

Thanks

C

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#2 RE: Travel Expenses mess
12/02/2011 18:45

anon to Confuscious (#1)

It depends on your firm's policy, for example:

- if the policy is phrased as "we'll pay as long as the client's not on the way to work" then Reading is definitely not on the route from Woking to London

- if the policy is phrased as "we'll pay the difference in price between your regular commute to London and travel to client site" then Woking-Reading may be about the same as Woking-London (just guessing by straight-line distance - god knows how the rail pricing works)

The issue may be whether you can claim for a season ticket instead of trip-by-trip tickets. Although it may be more expensive, separate tickets for each trip are more "accountable". You may therefore have to lay out the case step by step, e.g. the project is going to last at least the next 25 weeks, I have been committed to work with the client full-time on-site, a daily return ticket costs £10 (25 weeks x 5 days x £10 = £1,250), a six-month season ticket costs £1,000, therefore we save the client money and save ourselves the hassle of processing all these tickets through expenses.

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#3 RE: Travel Expenses mess
12/02/2011 23:01

Marcus to Confuscious (#1)

Interesting question. My feeling is that if you have to go through London (which you would if travelling from Woking) then you can only claim from and to London. On the other hand, this may not be practicable or possible, so you could still get away with claiming the whole trip to Reading.

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#4 RE: Travel Expenses mess
13/02/2011 01:40

Trainspotter to Marcus (#3)

"My feeling is that if you have to go through London (which you would if travelling from Woking)"

What are you talking about? The quickest way by rail from woking to reading is either via basingstoke or guildford. lol, are you suggesting he should go via paddington?

As for the other question, since travelling to reading isn't part of your normal expected commute (which would probably be from where you live to your home office/you pay for any travel in zone 1 - 2), charge the whole thing.

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#5 RE: Travel Expenses mess
13/02/2011 12:32

DCF to Trainspotter (#4)

This really hinges on (i) your expenses policy and (ii) the tax position, as you are not entitled to be reimbursed for your normal daily commute (at least without it being a taxable benefit). I believe there is some sort of "triangular" rule operated by HMRC whereby if you lived in Woking and your office was in Victoria, but you were on an project at London Bridge you might not be entitled to claim Woking-London Bridge, but possibly only Victoria-London Bridge.

That said I always claim the journey (no matter where) and it is always paid. This is on the grounds that it the client pays - so the firm isn't hugely interested - and it's a worthwhile sum to me but a tiddly one in the context of the cost of the engagement and in particular my daily rate. Also, I may choose to cycle to my office, get a lift, come by canoe, whatever - none of which may be feasible in travelling to the client site.

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#6 RE: Travel Expenses mess
14/02/2011 09:30

rc to DCF (#5)

there's a bit of a pernicious trend for tougher expenses management by consultancies - typically because someone's sold a fixed price project where the expenses are included, not billed extra at cost... and hence become part of the leeway for margin management

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#7 RE: Travel Expenses mess
14/02/2011 14:43

Shoe Polisher to rc (#6)

I would pay you the differential in mileage difference.

I'd do a AA Routeplanner from your home to our office in the Strand, then from our office to the Reading client site. If you are going further in miles, i will pay the difference. If you were going less I'd let it slide and move on.

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#8 RE: Travel Expenses mess
14/02/2011 15:25

Anon to Shoe Polisher (#7)

What if he would normally get the train into the strand but drives to the client?

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#9 RE: Travel Expenses mess
14/02/2011 21:00

Mark to Anon (#8)

Why don't you join Capgemini who have an office in Woking where you could be based? Then you can expense travel anywhere.

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