Tax Toolkit / Travel And Subsistence Rates

Employees' Motoring Expenses

Where employees use their private cars or motorcycles for business purposes, re-imbursement in respect of allowable motoring expenses can be effected by way of flat-rate mileage allowances.

There are two types of mileage allowance schemes which are acceptable for tax purposes, if an employee bears all the motoring expenses

  • The prevailing schedule of Civil Service rates; or
  • Any other schedule with rates not greater than the Civil Service rates.
Civil Service Rates

The Civil Service motor mileage rates for individuals who are obliged to use their car (or motorcycle) in the normal course of their duties, are as follows (Motor travel rates effective from 5 March 2009 Rates per Kilometre):

Motor Cars

Official Motor Travel in a calendar year Engine Capacity up to 1200 cc Engine Capacity 1201 cc to 1500 cc Engine Capacity 1501 cc and over
Up to 6,437km 39.12 cent 46.25 cent 59.07 cent
6,438km and over 21.22 cent 23.62 cent 28.46 cent

Motor Cycles

Official Motor Travel in a calendar year Engine Capacity up to 150 cc Engine Capacity 151 cc to 250 cc Engine Capacity 251 cc to 600 cc Engine Capacity 601 cc and over
Up to 6,437km 14.48 cent 20.10 cent 23.72 cent 28.59 cent
6,438km and over 9.37 cent 13.31 cent 15.29 cent 17.60 cent

For general information on re-imbursement of subsistence expenses to employees see Leaflet IT51, Employees' Motoring/Bicycle Expenses

Employees' Subsistence Expenses

Absences within the State

The schedule of rates based on the current Civil Service subsistence rates for absences within the State is set out hereunder: (Rates effective from 5 March 2009)

Rates effective from 5 March 2009

  Night Rate Day Rate
  Normal Rate Reduced Rate Detention Rate 10 hours or more 5 hours but less than 10 hours
Class A €108.99 €100.48 €54.48 €33.61 €13.71
Class B €107.69 €92.11 €53.87 €33.61 €13.71
  Class A Class B
Normal Rate €108.99 €107.69
Night Rate / Reduced Rate €100.48 €92.11
Night Rate / Detention Rate €54.48 €53.87
Night Rate /10 hours or more €33.61 €33.61
Day Rate / 5 hours but less than 10 hours €13.71 €13.71
Notes on Schedule:

There are detailed rules and conditions governing the payment of subsistence allowances in the Civil Service. The following notes are indicative of some of the relevant provisions:

1. Class of Allowances

The rate of allowance depends on the grade of officer. The approximate grade levels, and present minimum annual salaries, are broadly as follows:

Class A

Assistant Principals, higher grades and equivalents. All grades with the same salary scales as Engineer Grade 11 (Civil).Full PRSI - €69,659: Modified PRSI - €66,179

Class B

Higher Executive and Executive Officers, Administrative Officer, Staff Officer, whose pay is above the maximum of the Clerical Officer, Clerical Officers on and above the CO standard scale maximum, and equivalents.Full PRSI - €37,536: Modified PRSI - €35,660

2. Overnight Allowance

An overnight allowance covers a period of up to 24 hours from the time of departure, as well as any further period not exceeding 5 hours, which is necessarily spent overnight away from the normal place of work.Where an absence exceeds 24 hours, a day allowance at the appropriate rate may be paid only if the last period of 24 hours is exceeded by 5 or more hours.

Normal Rate

This is payable for absences up to 14 nights.

Reduced Rate

This is payable for each of the next 14 nights.

Detention Rate

This is payable for each of the next 28 nights.

Absences Over 56 Nights

Employers should make application to the appropriate Revenue office with a view to agreeing the rate to be applied.The period of subsistence at any one location is limited to six months. Any departure from this position e.g. for continuation of the subsistence period for a short duration, is considered on the circumstances of the individual case.

Continuous Absence

Certain absences from a particular temporary location would not be regarded as breaking the continuity of stay for the purpose of reducing the subsistence allowance. These absences would include absences of not more than two nights due to a return on official business to the employee's normal place of work, plus any nights of a weekend or public holidays or return visits home or annual leave. These absences would not, of course, qualify for subsistence allowance.


Where employees are working as team members and it is necessary for junior team members to stay in the same accommodation as senior team members who qualify for a higher rate of subsistence, such higher rate may also apply to the junior team members.

Day Allowances:

  • 5 to 10 hours absence
  • over 10 hours absence

A day allowance applies to continuous absence of 5 hours or more, provided the absence is not at a place within 5 kilometres of the employee's home or normal place of work. There are two categories of day allowance, namely, 5 to 10 hours absence and over 10 hours absence.

Absences outside the State

Details of the quantum of Civil Service subsistence rates for certain foreign countries are available from the tax office.The Civil Service schedule of rates may be applied in the following manner in respect of temporary (up to six months) absence:

Period of Assignment Abroad % of Subsistence Rate for relevant location
First month 100%
Second and Third month 75%
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth month 50%

The rates may be used only in respect of the reimbursement of allowable subsistence expenses where the employee is working abroad on a foreign assignment. 'Working abroad on foreign assignment' means that the employee is actually performing the duties of the employment abroad for a temporary period. Where actual vouched expenses exceed the flat rate allowances such vouched expenses may be used instead of flat rate allowances.

Long term Absences

For long term absences (where assignment period is greater than six months), reimbursement of allowable subsistence expenses may be made in the following manner:

Allowable subsistence expenses

Period of Assignment Abroad Allowable Subsistence
First month of assignment (to facilitate the employee obtaining self catering accommodation) Up to the Overnight Rate
Remainder of Assignment Up to the cost of reasonable accommodation plus 50% of the day rate (10 hour rate) for the location
Long term Absences

For long term absences (where assignment period is greater than six months), reimbursement of allowable subsistence expenses may be made in the following manner:


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