If you’re self-employed, navigating can your tax can seem impossible. There are lots of ways to save on your taxes by claiming back some self-employed expenses. But what can you claim?
Business expenses like office stationery, printer costs and postage can all be claimed. If you bought it purely for office use, claim it back. Computer equipment for work use, and software can also be claimed as a business expense, as long as the main use is work.
If you have premises for your business, you can claim rent, bills, maintenance and insurance back as a business expense. If you don’t have an office, and run your business from home, you can claim back part of your bills too. You’ll need to work out what portion of your home you use for work, and how many hours you work, or if you work from home for at least 25 hours a month, you can use the simplified expenses option offered by the government.
Work vehicles can be claimed back as an expense. If you’re buying a van or car exclusively for your business, make sure you buy from a trustworthy dealer like David Ray Commercials. Train tickets, flights or fuel for work trips can be claimed. You can also claim on vehicle insurance, car hire, repairs, servicing and breakdown cover.
Other travel expenses, like hotel rooms, can also be claimed, as long as the trip was for business purposes. You can claim on travel to meetings or site visits, but remember that you can’t claim on your travel between home and the office, if you have one.
Legal and Financial Costs
If you hire a professional, such as an accountant or solicitor, for business reasons, their fees can be claimed back on your tax return. Banking costs, overdraft fees, credit card charges and loan interest can also be claimed as a business cost, as can any insurance costs.
If you provide uniforms, the cost of those can be claimed back, as can any safety gear you need. Outfits for events, like costumes for actors, can be claimed back, but you can’t claim back everyday clothing, even if you wear it for work.
Subscriptions and Memberships
If you are a member of any professional bodies or trade organisations, don’t forget to claim those fees back. You can also claim back subscription fees for any trade or professional publications.
You can claim back other business expenses, if you pay for them from your own funds, and not from the business. Costs like stock or raw materials to make products, as well as things like marketing. Staff costs like salaries, bonuses, benefits, pension contributions, NI contributions and agency fees all count as claimable expenses.
Make sure you keep accurate records of all your costs and save your receipts, so you can provide a detailed breakdown of expenses or your receipts if required. It’s important to stay on track, so you don’t get into a mess later on with poorly kept financial records.