Construction industry

Travel and subsistence payments (country money)

It is important that employers in the construction sector are fully aware of the conditions that apply to the payment of tax-free expenses.

Country money

Employees in some sectors, such as the construction industry, are often required to travel to work at different sites. Expenses of travel and subsistence may be paid tax free to a site-based employee, up to the ‘country money’ rates below.

This allowance is only available where the employee is working at a site that is 32km (20 miles) or more from the employer’s base. If the employee is Dublin based, the allowance only applies if they are working 32km or more from the General Post Office (GPO).

Country Money Rates

  • €181.68 per week for more than four days.
  • €36.34 per day for four days or less.


Expenses may not be paid tax free where the employee is:

  • provided with transport to and from the site by the employer
  • provided with board and lodgings by the employer
  • recruited to work at one site only, also known as ‘jobbed on site’.

Records relating to the payment of country money should be held by the employer for six years.

‘Eating on site’ allowance

An ‘eating on site’ allowance is paid to site-based employees in some sectors, including construction. If this allowance is paid it may be tax free if:

  • facilities for making tea or coffee are not provided on the site by the employer
  • the employee does not receive another tax-free subsistence payment
  • the employee works on the site for at least 1.5 hours before and 1.5 hours after normal lunch break
  • the allowance is no more than €5 per day.

Next: Relevant Contracts Tax (RCT)