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Taking your spouse or partner with you on business trips can be a great way to help with your work/life balance.

With the exception of business entertainment, any expenses paid to or for a director are tax deductible for the company no matter what they’re for.  If the expense ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily’ arises from the director doing their job, the good news is it doesn’t count as remuneration and isn’t classed as taxable income, so it’s deductible for the director too!

So what happens if your spouse accompanies you on the trip? It’s hard to argue that it’s ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily’ part of the director’s role if they’ve come along to keep you company or to take the opportunity to visit another city. In this case the whole expense claim wouldn’t be tax deductible for the director. However, there are some exceptions:

  • if you’re unable to travel alone (e.g. due to a medical condition) and need the assistance of your spouse/partner
  • if your spouse/partner accompanies you as a business aide, e.g. as an interpreter on a foreign trip
  • if the business trip will last 60 or more days and you’re going abroad. The cost of travel and accommodation paid by your company for two trips per year is tax free in this instance.

Another bit of good news to consider is that the ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily’ rule doesn’t apply to any expenses that overlap between you and your partner. This means the only expenses that aren’t tax deductible are any extra costs incurred by them i.e. your train ticket qualifies, but theirs doesn’t. However you could claim for the full cost of a hotel room, as it’s the room that has been paid for, not each person.

If you’d like to discuss this further, please do get in touch on 01782 279615.


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