EIM66130 – Tax treatment of lorry drivers: subsistence allowances paid to lorry drivers: lorries with sleeper cabs

Where an employer seeks guidance as to the rate of overnight subsistence that may be paid free of tax when drivers are away overnight in lorries with sleeper cabs, you should consider the following points.

The employer must take all necessary steps to be satisfied that any amounts paid free of tax are no more than a reasonable reimbursement of the allowable expenses of the driver while staying overnight away from home and the permanent workplace (if any).
The mere fact that a lorry has a sleeper cab does not prevent the employer paying an amount tax free up to the limit shown in EIM66110 (or locally agreed limits) provided that the employer is satisfied that the driver did incur expenses on overnight accommodation (for example by staying in a hotel) and meals.

Where the employer knows that the driver uses the sleeper cab, the amount paid free of tax should not exceed a reasonable reimbursement of:
evening meal and breakfast
washing facilities
upkeep of bedding in the cab.

Where there is documentary evidence to show that the employee necessarily spent the night away from home and his or her permanent workplace (if any), HMRC accepts that a payment of 75% of the figure shown at EIM66110 does no more than reimburse the expense incurred when the driver uses the sleeper cab overnight. Payments in excess of this amount may only be paid tax-free where the conditions at EIM66115 are met.