Where certain conditions are met, subsistence allowances based on Civil Service rates and criteria can be paid to employees tax free as an alternative to reimbursing receipted expenditure.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform recently published a circular containing revised rates of subsistence allowances and standard distance requirements. In summary, the rates have been simplified and increased but the minimum distance between the temporary workplace and the normal place of work or home have also been increased. The increased distance criteria could cause problems for businesses.
The rates effective from 1 July 2015 are outlined below:
Domestic subsistence rates from 1st July 2015
|Overnight rates||Day Rates|
|Normal Rate||Reduced Rate||Detention Rate||10 hours or more||5 hours but less than 10 hours|
Day subsistence allowance
From 1 July 2015, a day allowance is not payable for an absence on business that is within 8km of an employee’s normal place of work or home. The current distance criteria is 5km.
Overnight subsistence allowance
From 1 July 2015, an overnight allowance will not generally be payable in respect of an absence on business that is within 100km of an employee’s home or normal place of work. The new rules allow for an overnight allowance in “exceptional circumstances” where the distance is in excess of 50km.