April 19, 2024


The business lovers

Self-employed allowable expenses you can claim on

Self-employed allowable expenses you can claim on

If you are self-utilized, allowable expenses can decrease your Self Assessment tax bill.

In this write-up, we speak about how your company can claim again funds.

Here’s what we address:

Income tax relief: How you can minimize your tax by professing on business costs

As a sole trader or freelancer, it is vital to realize your standard allowable expenses—even if you’re paying out an accountant to assist with your tax return.

You can claim tax back on some of the charges of managing your business—what HMRC phone calls allowable costs. These appear as expenditures in your business enterprise accounts deducted from the earnings you pay out tax on.

Charges can cut down the common sole trader’s tax bill—often drastically.

For instance, if your turnover is £80,000 and you claim £20,000 in allowable fees, you only pay tax on the remaining £60,000—a sizeable conserving.

You can also use simplified costs.

These flat premiums permit you to promptly compute tax relief on motor vehicles, operating from dwelling and living on your company premises. It can make working your bills significantly simpler.

On the Gov.british isles internet site, you can obtain the most widespread charges you can declare for self-employed and the most prevalent charges you can assert for if you rent out a assets.

Self-employed allowable costs record

Under we address some of the points you can assert for. To reiterate, we believe you are using funds basis accounting, as the policies for standard accounting can be a little bit diverse.

You can include these figures to your self-assessment tax return.

Workplace gear and tools

You can assert fees for business enterprise devices these kinds of as laptops, PCs, printers, and laptop or computer software that your organization has employed for much less than two many years.

You can not assert tax again on tiny tools.

Stationery and communications

As properly as the normal paper, envelopes and pens, you can also assert back tax on postage and printing, together with the charges of printer ink and cartridges that you use as section of your small business.

With much more enterprises now trading on-line, this allowance also applies to digital communications – so you can declare tax again on your enterprise mobile phone, cell and online costs.

Cell phone and online

If you use your mobile phone, cellular and online for individual and company use, you will want to demonstrate a real looking way of dividing the prices and can only declare tax back again on the component for enterprise use.

If you can’t clearly show this, you just can’t declare any tax again.

Skilled and fiscal expert services

If you get advice from an accountant, law firm or other skilled as component of your enterprise, you can declare tax back on their costs.

You can also declare allowable charges for choosing surveyors and architects for your business enterprise, just not for own dwelling enhancements.

If you have a company lender account, you can assert tax reduction on lender, overdraft and credit history card charges or desire on small business financial loans.

You can also assert tax back again on employ purchase, lease, or other financial payments for devices you use in your company.

Pension contributions

Contributions to your pension are not a organization expenditure, so they really do not affect your self-utilized income. Nevertheless, you are eligible for tax reduction on any contributions you make, which your pension provider will mechanically declare.

Staff members and staff expenditures

You can claim tax aid on worker and staff salaries, bonuses, pensions, gains, employees and personnel expenses, company charges, subcontractors, and employer’s National Insurance contributions.

Journey fees

There is a host of allowable charges you can declare for if you need to journey for business enterprise, such as prepare, bus, taxi, airfares, and accommodation prices.

But these only use if the principal cause for your journey or continue to be was for company.

If you just take a vacation that combines business enterprise and satisfaction, you can only claim tax relief on expenses that you can present are separate from the non-public portion of your journey.

If you cannot break up up the fees, you cannot declare tax reduction on any component.

Auto and automobile fees

If you use a motor vehicle as section of your enterprise, you can declare tax relief for fees these types of as petrol, insurance plan, and repairs.

Mileage allowance

As a self-used person, you can add up all your motor charges for the year and get the job done out the different organization element of the overall cost.

Nevertheless, keeping observe and doing work this out normally takes time and exertion.

Rather, you can assert mileage allowance, a simplified expense that lets you compute the fees for managing your car or truck.

Other auto-similar areas you can declare expenses on include things like:

  • Parking
  • Breakdown address
  • Employ the service of prices.

Again, tax relief only applies to these if they are enterprise instead than non-public expenses.

You cannot claim tax again on parking or other fines incurred though driving. There is no tax reduction for breaking the legislation.

Food and outfits

Most people needs foodstuff and outfits but claiming for them on expenditures is dependent on what you’re employing them for.


Commonly, you just cannot declare for outfits if it’s some thing you’d don as portion of an every day wardrobe. So, even if you’ve acquired a match for operate, you just can’t claim for its charge.

But, if you have to obtain a uniform that identifies what you do or needs unique protecting apparel to do your position, you can assert for that.

You just cannot claim for non-uniform products this sort of as sneakers and socks.

If you’re an entertainer, and the outfits you are buying are a costume for a phase, Television or film functionality, then you can declare tax relief on those people.

Clowns, magicians, acrobats and Elvis impersonators – we wager HMRC enjoys studying your clothing claims!


If you don a uniform or exclusive protecting clothing, you can claim bills if you clean, mend, or change it.


You can only declare income back on food stuff and consume if it’s a business cost, which means it will have to be outdoors your common doing work routine, this sort of as a organization excursion.

Stock and elements

You can claim tax again on:

  • Items that you resell, e.g. stock
  • Raw supplies that you use to make goods for sale
  • Immediate fees from generating items.

Marketing and advertising and promoting

You can assert tax again on the costs of marketing and advertising and marketing your organization, like expenditures for web hosting and preserving your corporation site.

But beware, you may perhaps feel that dealing with a consumer or supplier to lunch is ‘marketing’, but HMRC considers it as ‘entertaining’, which you simply cannot declare tax again for.

If you’re a member of a professional trade entire body or organisation as element of your business, you can claim tax relief on your membership expenses. Subscriptions to trade or expert journals are also allowable bills, so declare for people much too.

Study far more about Self Evaluation

What expenses can I assert when doing work from dwelling?

As a sole trader, you may perhaps operate your firms from household.

In this scenario, you can only assert tax again on the proportion of those fees that relate to the place you use for your organization, including heating, electric power, council tax and house loan desire.

You will have to have to uncover a practical way of dividing the prices.

You may perhaps divide your costs according to the range of rooms you use for your business enterprise or the time you shell out functioning from house.

How can I monitor my allowable fees?

You really should keep track of your company costs throughout the 12 months and keep organised documents. If you are unincorporated or a sole trader, you should keep information for 5 many years soon after 31 January of the relevant tax year.

Ideally, you’d use accounting application, which will save time and is much more exact than working with spreadsheets.

It really should let you import costs and receipts—if you have paper receipts, you can frequently snap and capture them digitally.  

How do I assert my self-used small business charges?

You get the job done out what you can claim again and add the facts to your tax return.

If you’ve kept your bills organised (adding them to accounting computer software will support you accomplish this), that will make this procedure a lot easier.

And eventually, it could be a matter of providing a solitary determine for your allowable expenses or supplying a in depth breakdown on your tax return.

Both way, you ought to properly operate out your bills in scenario HMRC comes back again with concerns.

Final feelings on allowable fees

Being familiar with allowable fees can make all the difference to your money movement.

If you know what you can and can’t declare back again, it would make factors significantly less difficult arrive tax return time.

When we have protected some important bills you can claim again, receiving guidance from an accountant or tax adviser can make all the big difference in this article.

Give by yourself plenty of time to get your head close to your allowable expenditures, converse to the gurus if you need to have to, and assure you do not have to pay more tax than is required.

Editor’s observe: This report was very first published in December 2019 and has been up-to-date for relevance.