The most important overriding rule is that you can only claim a deduction for expenses that have been incurred wholly and exclusively for the purpose of your business. You should always keep a record of your business mileage and expenses for each business trip separately so that these expenses can be clearly identified. These receipts should be kept for 6 years in the case of an audit.
An easy way to hold onto expenses is through ‘Receipt-Bank’ to save you from keeping stacks of paperwork at home. Receipt-Bank can be used as a mobile or desktop app and is Revenue approved so you can crumple up those receipts as soon as you’ve taken a snap on your phone! The app also has the ability to break your receipts into different categories to keep each trip separate.
What this means is where travel costs are incurred partly for business and partly for pleasure, as long as you are able to specifically identify your business journeys you will be able to claim a tax deduction for these costs.
Where you undertake a business trip which requires you to stay away from home, the hotel accommodation and reasonable overnight subsistence costs will be tax deductible.
However, where your business base is away from home and you pay for overnight accommodation and subsistence simply to allow you to be at or near where your business is situated this expenditure will not be tax deductible.
You can also claim bus and train fares incurred in the course of travelling for business.