A new measure to remove the requirement for employers to check receipts for expense claims made by employees using the HMRC benchmark scale rates or overseas scale rates is to be introduced.
The benchmark scale rates can be used by employers to reimburse staff for subsistence expenses when they are travelling on business away from their normal workplace. HMRC lists maximum rates but employers can choose to pay less if they so wish.
The change will be legislated for in Finance Bill 2018-19 and will remove the onerous requirement for employers to check evidence, such as receipts, of the amounts spent when using benchmark scale rates to pay or reimburse qualifying subsistence expenses when employees travel for work.
The new legislation will also place the concessionary accommodation and subsistence overseas scale rates on a statutory basis and the same rules will apply. The overseas scale rates are similar but take into account the cost of subsistence overseas, including hotel accommodation etc, and are calculated on a country-by-country basis.
From April 2019, employers will only be asked to ensure that employees are undertaking qualifying business travel when claiming the benchmark scale rates and / or overseas scale rates. This measure was first announced at Autumn Budget 2017 and should create ongoing administrative savings for many businesses.