If your employer does not cover your work-related travelling expenses or pays you a tax-free travel allowance, you are entitled to deduct expenses for food, accommodation and petty acquisitions. You may either apply the standard rates or deduct your documented expenses. The actual deduction is approx. 26%. So if your travel deduction amounts to DKK 3,000, you will save approx. DKK 780 in tax.

  •  Maximum deduction for travelling expenses in 2019 is DKK 28,000 (DKK 27,400 in 2018)

Enter your travel deduction in your tax assessment notice, box 53

Enter your travel deduction in your preliminary income assessment, field 429

You must either state the actual expenses or an amount calculated according to the applicable rates:

Rates per day 2019 2018
Accommodation DKK 219 DKK 214

Food and petty acquisitions for other salary earners

DKK 509

DKK 498

Food for tourist drivers when driving in Denmark DKK 75 DKK 75

Food for tourist drivers when driving outside Denmark

DKK 150 DKK 150
  • The maximum deduction in 2019 is DKK 28,000 (DKK 27,400 in 2018), no matter which method you use.
  • If you have travelled for more than 24 hours, the deduction for food expenses is calculated as 1/24 of the rates per commenced hour.
  • The deduction for accommodation expenses applies to the number of full days you have travelled.
  • If you have received a tax-free travel allowance which is lower than the rates, you can get a deduction for the difference. In that case, you must state the amount corresponding to the difference in box 53 in your tax assessment notice.

Higher deduction for self-employed persons

There is no limit to how much you can deduct as a self-employed person, as long as the deduction is based on documented expenses.

If you use the standard rates, the limit of DKK 28,000 in 2019 (DKK 27,400 in 2018) also applies to you.

Standard rates and B-income cannot be combined

If you have B-income (income that you need to pay tax on yourself), you cannot apply the standard rates. This concerns fee-based employees, for example.

Instead, you need to use your documented expenses.

  • The duration of the journey is at least 24 hours and you are spending the night away from home.

  • Your employer does not cover your expenses as per account rendered or as free food and/or free accommodation.

  • Your employer does not pay you a tax-free travel allowance.

  • Your employer pays you a tax-free travel allowance that is less than the standard rates.

  • You are not renting out your usual residence while you are away.

The distance and the work involved are also essential elements.

Distance

The distance is assessed based on whether you can travel between your home and the temporary workplace within a reasonable period of time, enabling you to stay the night at your own home.

Work

The shorter the period, the more likely it is to be a temporary workplace.

The actual nature of the work is also important. You could, for example:

  • be on call and as a result you need to be at or nearby the temporary workplace while on call

  • be required to stay the evening at a conference location as the non-business activities of the evening have a team-building purpose in relation to the work you perform

  • have long or changing working hours allowing little time between the end and the beginning of a working day.

Individuals who are not entitled to deduct (full or partial) travelling expenses

  • Conscripts and voluntary personnel

  • Unpaid board members and assistants

  • Volunteers

  • Tourist bus drivers and long-distance lorry drivers

  • Individuals working on board aircraft

  • Individuals working on board ships (including fishermen)

  • Individuals posted abroad by the Danish state

  • Individuals working on board ships and research installations and the use of natural occurrences

You can get an allowance for petty acquisitions if your employer does not cover your expenses. Petty acquisitions include coffee, newspapers or bus tickets.

You can obtain an allowance for 25% of the food standard rate, corresponding to DKK 127.25 per day in 2019 (DKK 124.50 in 2018). This also applies if you have received free food during the journey.

If your employer disburses less than DKK 127.25 per day, you are entitled to deduct the difference. If, for example, your employer disburses DKK 80 per day, you are entitled to a deduction of DKK 47.25 per day.

If you have been granted a tax-free travel allowance according to the standard rates, you cannot have a 25% allowance at the same time.

Enter your deduction in your tax assessment notice, box 53

Tourist bus drivers cannot obtain a 25% allowance or similar allowances.

If you work abroad, your annual deduction for travelling expenses including other possible deduction relating to your foreign salary may not exceed your foreign salary which is taxable in Denmark or exceed DKK 28,000 in 2019 (DKK 27,400 in 2018).

If you are given one or more meals a day, it is considered free food. If you are given free food, you need to reduce your deduction by certain percentages.

However, you are always entitled to a deduction of 25% of the food rate to cover petty acquisitions.

Free breakfast

15%

Free lunch

30%

Free dinner

30%

Example

In 2018, Simon went on a 26-hour journey and was given free breakfast once and free lunch twice.
Simon needs to reduce his deduction accordingly:

Deduction for 26 hours DKK 509 x 26/24 hours =

DKK 551

Reduction for free breakfast and lunch
(15 % + 30% + 30%) x DKK 509 =

DKK 382

Simon's deduction is DKK 551 - DKK 382 =

DKK 199

Please see our legal guide (in Danish) for further legal information.