Subsistence Expenses

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An employer may reimburse an employee who incurs expenses whilst carrying out their duties where the expenses are incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of their duties.

For this purpose employees includes the directors of the company (see note below for non executive directors and voluntary work).

The expenses are generally reimbursed on the basis of vouched receipts.

You may repay your employee expenses for their subsistence costs while they are temporarily away from their normal place of work.

For absences within the State this payment can be made, tax free, by either:

  • using the current schedule of Civil Service subsistence rates
  • use other rates not higher than Civil Service rates
  • repay the actual cost of the travel to your employee

If you repay the actual costs of subsistence to your employee, the following conditions must apply:

  • your employee incurred them wholly, exclusively and necessarily when carrying out the duties  of their employment
  • the costs were repaid on the basis of vouched receipts.

If you pay subsistence expenses at rates higher than Civil Service rates, these must be approved by Revenue in advance.

Normal Place of Work

The normal place of work is where the employee works on a day to day basis. This may not always be the employer’s base. he business may have additional bases elsewhere which means, in such cases, that the normal place of work may not be the same for all employees.

Normally, an employer will provide the facilities your employees need to perform their duties at the normal place of work.

The revenue do not usually consider the employee's home as their normal place of work. An exception to this is where there is an 'objective requirement' that their duties be carried out at home. Their duties have to be carried out at home because they cannot be carried out elsewhere. It is not an objective requirement if:

  • your employee merely carries out, or chooses to carry out, their duties at home
  • the duties carried out are incidental (minor or administrative).

Reimbursement Rates 

The current reimbursement rates can be found here

Extract from Revenue website : 

domestic subsistence

Foreign Subsistence  

Different rates apply for foreign subsistence. 

Further Reading 

Revenue have issued detailed guidance :