Are dinner expenses um... ethical? Are dinner expenses um... ethical?
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  1. #1

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    Default Are dinner expenses um... ethical?

    Hi everybody.

    I'm new to contracting, got my job through a recruitment agency, and signed up with an umbrella company. They told me that if I'm away from home, for my job, for 10 hours or more per day, I can claim dinner expenses. My hours of work are from 09:00 to 17:30, so that's not unusually long, but the journey to work is an hour each way, so all in all, I'm out of the house for 10.5 hours. So I could claim for dinner, but now I'm thinking that it's just going to leave a bad taste in my employer's mouth (no pun intended). So my question is: is this something that contractors generally do, as a matter of course, and that employers don't have a problem with? Would I be standing up for my rights, or taking the p**s, if I claimed for it?

    Also, what are the rules regarding receipts for meal expenses? On my first day, I bought lunch in the morning, on my way to work, so does that mean I can't claim for it, because I didn't buy it at around lunch time?

    Thank you in advance.

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    Good grief it is quiet on here today. I'm surprised you haven't acquired a new bumhole or two, actualy. Nevertheless - I shall bite.

    Yes, you can claim for meals under those circumstances and it doesn't matter when you buy your lunch. Pease make sure you don't eat it till lunchtime, as there is a heavy fine from HMRC if you do eat it for - say - elevenses.

    If your umbrella company are actively encouraging you to claim these expenses (similar tactics to a double glazing salesman on the old marching powder) then
    a) I can probably guess who they are and
    b) you'l probably find it's a nice little earner for them when you check your tax bill...ahem...payslip.
    c) they don't give a toss anyway because it's you that HMRC come looking for in the event of any investigation
    d) rights? Take the money and run. Preferably to somewhere without an extradition treaty.

    You keep all receipts as you can be asked (by HMRC) to provide them - seven years sounds about right - so hope you have a large office/garage.
    Claiming dinner is piss-taking if you're going home at a reasonable time IMO.
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    You can't claim for dinner as dinner is 12:00 to 13:00 at you'd have that expense anyway, away or not.

    Ignore the Southerners who insist dinner is like 18:00 on as they are all Soft Shandy Drinking Poufs. That's teatime.

    You can claim for breakfast if you start before 7:00am and likewise Tea if after 19:00 or so - but is it worth it for a saving of about 90p (Northern prices) or £4.28 (Southern prices)?

    No it is.

    Bit distracted now as there is some shagging on this movie I'm watching in a window....

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    <checks this is in general>

    Are you saying that expenses are paid by the client? If so go nuts and claim for what ever you can!

    If you are claiming expenses from your LtdCo remember that you are paying 80% of anything you claim, so that burger may seem like a bargain but its not that good in reality.
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ― Marcus Aurelius

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMac View Post
    <checks this is in general>

    Are you saying that expenses are paid by the client? If so go nuts and claim for what ever you can!

    If you are claiming expenses from your LtdCo remember that you are paying 80% of anything you claim, so that burger may seem like a bargain but its not that good in reality.
    I had to check too!

    Fresh meat, slurrrrp!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMac View Post
    <checks this is in general>

    Are you saying that expenses are paid by the client? If so go nuts and claim for what ever you can!

    If you are claiming expenses from your LtdCo remember that you are paying 80% of anything you claim, so that burger may seem like a bargain but its not that good in reality.
    Nah. You can get 2 for 1 offers on burgers and share with another contractor. Just make sure you both get a receipt. Actually, I've dined in places that will offer to write what you like on the bill. Cash only, obviously.
    And not the upper end of the market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stek View Post
    You can't claim for dinner as dinner is 12:00 to 13:00 at you'd have that expense anyway, away or not.

    Ignore the Southerners who insist dinner is like 18:00 on as they are all Soft Shandy Drinking Poufs. That's teatime.

    You can claim for breakfast if you start before 7:00am and likewise Tea if after 19:00 or so - but is it worth it for a saving of about 90p (Northern prices) or £4.28 (Southern prices)?

    No it is.

    Bit distracted now as there is some shagging on this movie I'm watching in a window....
    What about supper? Or brunch? Or tiffin? Or High Tea? Or elevensies? Or twelvesies!!!!
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ― Marcus Aurelius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy View Post
    Nah. You can get 2 for 1 offers on burgers and share with another contractor. Just make sure you both get a receipt. Actually, I've dined in places that will offer to write what you like on the bill. Cash only, obviously.
    And not the upper end of the market.
    I know a place like that in London, a cucumber gin was classed as a salad for receipt purposes!
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ― Marcus Aurelius

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    And if you want ethics in contracting head east on the A12
    Last edited by SimonMac; 20th October 2013 at 16:57.
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ― Marcus Aurelius

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by half View Post
    Hi everybody.

    I'm new to contracting, got my job through a recruitment agency, and signed up with an umbrella company. They told me that if I'm away from home, for my job, for 10 hours or more per day, I can claim dinner expenses. My hours of work are from 09:00 to 17:30, so that's not unusually long, but the journey to work is an hour each way, so all in all, I'm out of the house for 10.5 hours. So I could claim for dinner, but now I'm thinking that it's just going to leave a bad taste in my employer's mouth (no pun intended). So my question is: is this something that contractors generally do, as a matter of course, and that employers don't have a problem with? Would I be standing up for my rights, or taking the p**s, if I claimed for it?

    Also, what are the rules regarding receipts for meal expenses? On my first day, I bought lunch in the morning, on my way to work, so does that mean I can't claim for it, because I didn't buy it at around lunch time?

    Thank you in advance.
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    I'll just use this one instead

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