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Quick question - re invoice. Posting here due to high traffic.

(18 Posts)
minouminou Tue 13-Nov-12 09:09:56

Hi - not an AIBU, I'm posting it here because I'm more likely to get a swift response.

Doing my invoice for last month - one day involved four hours of train travel - is it right to use my regular hourly rate for each hour?

Many thanks.

NickNacks Tue 13-Nov-12 09:11:59

Invoice for who? Surely it depends on what your contract provides for?

CarpeJugulum Tue 13-Nov-12 09:12:09

Depends on what reason there was train travel.

If it was to get to a job site at the start of a day, then I'd charge for the cost of the journey but not the hours. If it was a change of job site middle of the day, I'd charge.

Context is everything smile

Nancy66 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:12:42

Depends on your job

train travel sounds more like expenses to me

minouminou Tue 13-Nov-12 09:21:59

I'm freelance, and the travel was to get to an important meeting that (I don't usually have this responsibility) I had to go to. The company owner was unable to do it, so I stood in.

minouminou Tue 13-Nov-12 09:23:21

Oh, and it was, effectively, a change of job site (from home, where I work, to Fancy London and back) in the middle of the day.

mellen Tue 13-Nov-12 09:24:55

I think people do both - it probably should have been agreed beforehand whether it would be at the usual hourly rate, or whether it would be less.

Nancy66 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:25:34

totally depends what your agreement is with them.

But, normally, I would expect someone to claim expenses on the train travel and bill separately for the work.

It is not usual to claim travel time as work

flowery Tue 13-Nov-12 09:27:16

If I have to do a lot of train travel for a client I invoice at half usual rate, on the basis that I can work on the train emailing, phone calls, drafting etc so am not spending that time purely on them.

Having said that, I only do it after telling them beforehand that that's what I'll do...

CarpeJugulum Tue 13-Nov-12 09:30:01

Hmmm... I can see arguments for both charging and not charging.

What did you do on the train? Did you sit and read? Did you work?

I'd maybe discuss it with the owner and compromise and reach an agreement for any future instances?

whoneedssleepanyway Tue 13-Nov-12 09:30:39

Did you work on the train?

Did it prevent you doing billable work for other clients?

I wouldn't be happy paying for travel time where I got no benefit

minouminou Tue 13-Nov-12 09:33:12

thanks for these responses, guys. Yes, it did mean I couldn't do work for other clients.

mollymole Tue 13-Nov-12 09:55:47

I would charge for both - you were asked to attend this meeting by your 'employer' it was not within your usual remit. When you were travelling for them you were not available to work for anyone else and you were travelling at their request.
as to ' i wouldn't be happy paying for travel time where i got no benefit' - of course there is benefit they are travelling to a meeting at your bequest that you are unable to make it to yourself.
When I was a self employed accountant there was a simple method of time charging
if they came to my office charge time started when they arrived
if i was going to see them, or visiting a place on their behalf, then charge time was from the time i set off
if i incurred extra costs as a result of their request than they paid these extra costs.

minouminou Tue 13-Nov-12 10:06:04

Settled it - she said door-to-door, but I'm only asking for train time, as I needed to run into a chemist for essential supplies before my train! I needed to do this errand anyway, so I would have had to go into town that day!

Thanks, guys! It's just that it's only a small business and every penny counts, as we all know. I've invoiced for the ticket (with proof), as I think she'll get tax back, no?

CarpeJugulum Tue 13-Nov-12 10:36:21


Tax back probably not. There is VAT on travel, but unless you are VAT registered, you can't charge for the VAT, just the whole amount, and it's your invoice she is paying.

<voice of bitter experience>

mollymole Tue 13-Nov-12 16:30:37

If you have charged her travel in your invoice (supporting it by sending the ticket is irrelevent to her )she will be able to set this expense in her accounts, it is the cost of sub-contracting you, therefore she will get tax relief.

Sallyingforth Tue 13-Nov-12 16:49:00

You should really make this clear up front. When I start a job for a client I make it clear in my quotation the costs of working time, and travelling time which is half the working rate.

Wheresmypopcorn Tue 13-Nov-12 18:40:22

Yes, I would but only if it was agreed prior to the meeting which is when it should be brought up - nothing like irritating a client with a charge they don't expect. If they are reasonable though, they would expect you to charge for it.

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