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Conferences and Training

Heading to the Slimming World Awards or Oscars conference? You can claim a number of expenses as a result, as this is a conference under HMRC guidance, and you’re there on business purposes with the aim (or motivation) to increase/develop your business.

There’s some key items which you can claim for, the below links will take you to the relevant articles in the Malgra Tax Guide.

Ticket Price

The cost of the ticket to the conference is claimable and is classed as a standard expense. Tickets for any event which is ‘recognised as a true business expense’ is permitted by HMRC.

So a conference about weight loss, business development in the UK etc would be acceptable to claim. However a conference in Australia about something completely different may cause concern.


Train tickets, or parking costs and mileage are certainly claimable as they’re a essential expense as part of the attendance at the conference.

Flight tickets, and ferries are also claimable if they’re ‘reasonable’. However, First Class train tickets, or Business Class flights may raise eyebrows with HMRC.


Again, reasonable costs can be claimed for your accommodation – however the word reasonable is key here, as it should be “wholly and exclusively” for business purposes.

So a 1 week stay at the 5 star hotel in the city would not be acceptable for a one-day conference or event. The lowest possible cost should be obtained where available, so it’s probably a small basic hotel for the night, unless it’s not possible or reasonable to be otherwise.

Food and Drinks

HMRC accept that you will need to be fed and watered whilst you’re away from your usual base. Most conferences or events include food and drinks in the package price.

Additional meals and drinks (where again, are reasonable) are claimable – This is usually known as ‘subsistence’ and allows for a standard meal and (one) alcoholic drink per day.

A night out in town wouldn’t be acceptable, and an ‘alcoholic drink’ which HMRC allows when purchased with a meal usually means a pint of lager, or half a bottle of wine. Moet Champagne is a no.

Updated on February 17, 2023
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