Changes to the allowable subsistence rates for road haulier drivers (employees)

The agreed rates for the reimbursement of subsistence allowances free of tax by road haulier firms to drivers have recently changed.

The original agreement was reached in September 1996 between Revenue and the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) in respect of the conditions and guidelines covering the reimbursement of subsistence allowances free of tax by road haulier firms (employers) to road haulier drivers (employees).

Where an employee’s allowable expenses are reimbursed free of tax by an employer, the question of an income tax claim by the employee for those expenses does not, of course, arise.

Haulier drivers have the option of operating on the basis of the agreed rates and attaching conditions, or the Civil Service rates. Alternatively, the employers can reimburse employees for actual receipted expenditure incurred.

Where the amounts reimbursed by employers are in excess of the amounts referred to above, the excess is subject to tax, USC and PRSI in the normal way.

The agreed rates have recently changed and are contained in Tax and Duty Manual Part 05-20-10.  Click here to download the new subsistence rates which apply from 1 October 2018.

The manual has also been updated to clarify that tachographs evidencing expense claims must be maintained for six years as they represent part of the books and records of the haulier business. 

If you would like to discuss this topic further, please contact OSK Tax Advisers on 01-439 4200 or email

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