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What Counts as an HMRC Temporary Workplace?

Find out how HMRC defines a temporary workplace and the rules you need to follow when working out whether you have a temporary or permanent place of work.


A temporary workplace is defined by HMRC as one which you attend that:

  • Is for a limited time only, like a one-off meeting;
  • Meets the “40% rule” – that means a workplace where you spend less than 40% of your working time;
  • Is for less than 24 months.

Friendly Disclaimer: Whilst I am an accountant, I’m not your accountant. The information in this article is legally correct but it is for guidance and information purposes only. Everyone’s situation is different and unique so you’ll need to use your own best judgement when applying the advice that I give to your situation. If you are unsure or have a question be sure to contact a qualified professional because mistakes can result in penalties.

What is a Temporary Workplace?

A temporary workplace is defined by HMRC as one which you attend that is for a limited time only like a one-off meeting. In some cases freelancers, sole traders and employees find themselves working for a prolonged period of time at a particular workplace.

In these cases, a temporary workplace is one where you will spend less than 24 months at. Where an individual spends more than 24 months at a particular workplace, this will be classified as a permanent workplace.

A permanent workplace is also one in which you spend more than 40% of your time at. That means if you are self-employed and have a fixed arrangement working at your client premises you may not be able to claim travel as a business expense.

Where an employee meets the criteria of working from a temporary workplace but has not received work mileage payments from their employer, they may be entitled to claim a work mileage tax rebate if they used their own vehicle to travel there.

Find out the HMRC-approved amounts to claim for business travel in this guide to Mileage Rates