Eligible costs

The following guidance sets out key requirements of Eligible cost policies applicable to claims submitted under Invest NI Letters of Offer.

Eligible cost policies * cover:

  • project labour
  • travel and accommodation
  • VAT
  • acceptable methods of payment

* Public Bodies including University/Further Education establishments should check with their Invest NI project contact for relevant Eligible cost policies.

 

Project labour

The cost of labour hours spent on project activity by employees who do not work exclusively on the project. The cost is determined by:
Project Labour Cost = Eligible Hours x Project Hourly Rate

Eligible hours are those spent by employees on eligible project activity and are:

  • capped to a maximum of 8 hours per day
  • supported by a signed attendance record that includes as a minimum:
    • description of activity
    • date of activity
    • hours spent on the activity
    • signature of employee
    • signature of appropriate authoriser / approver

The Project Hourly Rate is determined either as:

  • a standard rate for all employees expressly stated in the Letter of Offer; or
  • an employee-specific Project Hourly Rate (PHR) as generated by the PHR schedule in the Claim pack SCO *

* Note: The PHR schedule replaces GEHR calculators and Published Lists and should be used immediately when claiming project labour costs.
Please refer to your Invest NI project contact in the event of any query.

 

Travel and accommodation

Only invoiced/receipted costs relating to travel and accommodation may be considered eligible. Other costs such as mileage, subsistence etc are not eligible – further guidance is available from your Invest NI project contact.

Eligible costs relating to accommodation within GB, Northern Ireland & ROI are capped to Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) rates as stated below:

  • Central London (i.e. 5 miles from Charing Cross) and Republic of Ireland receipted actuals for bed and breakfast up to a ceiling of £140 including VAT should be applied.
  • Elsewhere in GB and Northern Ireland receipted actuals for bed and breakfast up to a ceiling of £100 including VAT should be applied.

Accommodation rates applicable to Rest of World are capped to appropriate HMRC rates.
Visit the HMRC website for further guidance

 

VAT

Recoverable VAT is not eligible for grant purposes.

All VAT is presumed recoverable unless satisfactory and sufficient evidence has been provided by the customer confirming VAT is permanently irrecoverable. For claim purposes, each claim which includes VAT must be supported by an Independent Accountant's report confirming that VAT is permanently irrecoverable. The burden and costs of providing such a report shall rest with the claimant.

Travel and accommodation  

Claims for travel and accommodation must be:

  • related to the project
  • evidenced by original invoice/receipt and confirmation of payment
Eligible expenditure

Only expenditure relating to the following items can be claimed:

  • invoiced accommodation costs (eg hotels, guesthouses)
  • invoiced/receipted travel costs
  • buses
  • car rental (basic rental costs only)
  • ferries
  • economy class flights (including luggage and taxes)
  • trains
Ineligible expenditure

Expenditure relating to the following items cannot be claimed:

  • subsistence/per diem allowances
  • meals (other than breakfast when charged as part of B&B accommodation)
  • VAT
  • non economy flights
  • seat allocation, additional optional premiums
  • travel insurance
  • mileage claims
  • car rental fuel costs and other fuel costs
  • taxi fares
  • car parking

Note – this list is not exhaustive and is provided for illustrative purposes only.

Description of Expenditure

Minimum information to be disclosed:

  • name of employee(s) travelling
  • date(s) of travel
  • from/to
  • purpose of travel (sufficient narrative to confirm eligibility)
  • name(s) of persons/organisations being visited
Acceptable methods of payment  

All claimed expenditure must be capable of confirmation to:

  • payment itemised in a bank account under the control of an entity identified in the Letter of Offer ; or
  • a credit card statement where the credit card is issued to an entity identified in the Letter of Offer and used solely and exclusively for business purposes

Unacceptable methods of payment

  • bitcoins/crypto currencies
  • cash
  • credit notes/vouchers/recharges
  • directors loan account
  • escrow
  • inter company off sets/journal entries

In particular, please note that:

  • all cash transactions are ineligible for grant purposes
  • expenditure paid by way of credit card is eligible only where the credit card is a company credit card
Foreign exchange

Non sterling transactions should be claimed at the actual conversion charged to the sterling bank account.

Transactions settled from non-sterling bank accounts should be converted by using the exchange rate at the date of payment as provided by a recognised foreign exchange website. Notional exchange rates are not acceptable.

Frequently asked questions  

Travel FAQ's

What happens if I book travel at any other than economy rate?

We only support economy rate travel. All costs relating to non-economy travel (e.g. business / first class) will be deemed ineligible.

What happens if I pay an annual fee to a travel company to arrange bookings/flights etc?

Annual/quarterly fees are not eligible and should not be claimed.

What happens if I claim for preselected seats, newspapers and food?

These items are not eligible and should not be claimed.

What happens if I claim for mileage?

Mileage is not eligible and should not be claimed.

Accommodation FAQ's

What happens if I claim breakfast that was purchased outside the hotel?

Breakfast can only be claimed if invoiced on the hotel bill. Other meals are not eligible and should not be claimed

Are evening meals on the hotel bill allowed?

No, other meals are not eligible and should not be claimed.

What HMRC/NICS rates will apply?

Eligible costs relating to accommodation within GB, Northern Ireland & ROI are capped to Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) rates as stated below:

  • Central London (i.e. 5 miles from Charing Cross) and Republic of Ireland receipted actuals for bed and breakfast up to a ceiling of £140 including VAT should be applied.
  • Elsewhere in GB and Northern Ireland receipted actuals for bed and breakfast up to a ceiling of £100 including VAT should be applied.

Accommodation rates applicable to Rest of World are capped to appropriate HMRC rates.
Visit the HMRC website for further guidance

Do the HMRC/NICS rates apply at the date of the incurred costs or the date of the claim submission?

NICS/HMRC rates are not subject to frequent change, but for the avoidance of any doubt, rates apply at the date of travel.

If you have any further questions or queries about the policies and how they affect you please discuss this with your Invest NI project contact.

 

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