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Rented Accommodation and Subsistence as an Expense

Your company can pay the rent when the expense is for business purposes eg when you rent an apartment away from home but near to the project on which you are working. Best to get the rental agreement in your company’s name if at all possible.

When considering whether or not an item is a business expense, think if an incremental cost has been incurred ie in addition to the household costs you already incur from your main residence.
 
So for example, rent, electricity, gas, water, window cleaning and rates can be put through the company (if they are an additional cost to your main residence).
 
If broadband is in the company name and/or is used exclusively for business use – yes this can be paid for by your company too.
 
The best way to pay for items is directly by your company and then no reclaim from your company by you is necessary.
 
Generally I advise that you aren’t able to put lunches, drinks and restaurant expenses through the company at your usual client site.  HMRC would assume that you would be paying for this sort of expense if you were at work or not and therefore they aren’t wholly and exclusively for business purposes.
 
With regards to accommodation and subsistence, it comes down to what are necessary business purchases – it depends on your accommodation whilst you’re contracting away from home with regards to what you can claim.  For example if you’re renting an apartment with a kitchen facility then you’re able to make breakfast, lunch and dinner as you usually would at home and therefore would not be claimable through your limited company.  If you were staying in a hotel then the likelihood would be that you’d need to eat out and therefore breakfast, lunch and dinner would be claimable through your limited company.   
 
However, when you are away overnight on company business  (other than at your usual client site or anything social) then you can claim the evening meal back with a receipt.  Similarly if you are away for the day on company business you can claim reasonable lunch and subsistence costs through your company.

By Graeme Bennett of Forbes Young Accountancy

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  1. Annoymouse

    Hi, would I be able to claim my gas, electric, water and council tax bill through my limited company, this is a temporary rented accommodation purely for my short term contract, I have my own house in a different city under my name which is my main residence and I visit every weekend.

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