On 6 April 2009 HMRC introduced 'benchmark scale rates' for day subsistence payments only.
The overriding rule is where a claimant has genuinely allowable travel expenses it is in order to also claim for meals provided that in so doing the duties of the employment dictate that more was spent on the meal than would otherwise be the case.
Expenses previously have been paid by reimbursement when receipts are provided or a dispensation agreed with HMRC. The benchmark scale rate now provides a third alternative. The rates are effectively £5 for one meal, £10 for two meals and a further £15 if the working day ends after 8.00 pm and there is a necessity to purchase another meal. These can be paid without additional authorisation from HMRC and without the need for receipts.
The maximum is therefore £30.