A subsistence allowance compensates you for the food, drink and incidental costs associated with staying away on business in a hotel. The allowance isn't intended to cover a fun night out for you and your mates, paid for by HMRC, or free lunch each day.
You can claim a reasonable amount for the cost of meals, and an appropriate amount of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with the meal when staying away. The costs of tea, coffee and soft drinks between meals can also be claimed.
The cost of small incidentals such as newspapers, telephone calls home and laundry can be claimed up to a total maximum of £5 per day (£10 when working abroad). Claims should be for the exact amount of cost incurred (up to the £5 / £10 limit). Receipts must be kept to support the claims.
You must: Remember the 24 month rule applies to any claims. Have a receipt for everything you claim, including incidental expenses -empty McDonalds cartons won’t do.