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10 Sole Trader expenses you can claim on your tax return

If you're self-employed, your business will have various running costs. There are certain expenses you can claim, that will lower your tax bill. HMRC will allow you to deduct the costs of certain purchases, that are necessary to run your business. These are referred to as 'allowable expenses'.

There are many different costs that you can claim for, some of which you may not have considered. Here's 10 costs you can claim as allowable expenses if you're self-employed.


You can claim expenses for things like:

  • Postage

  • Printer ink and cartridges

  • General stationery

Rents, rates and business

You can claim expenses for:

  • Rent (for business purposes)

  • Business and water rates

  • Utility bills

  • Property insurance

  • Mobile phone and internet bills (for business)

  • Security

  • Using your home as an office (only the part that's used for business)

  • Other types of insurance

Vehicle and travel

Some things you can claim for include:

  • Vehicle insurance

  • Fuel

  • Repairs and servicing

  • Parking

  • Hire charges

  • Breakdown cover

  • Train, bus, air and taxi fares

  • Hotel rooms

  • Meals on overnight business trips

You can't claim for:

  • Non-business driving / travel costs

  • Fines

  • Travel costs between home and work


You can actually claim allowable expenses for:

  • Uniforms

  • Protective clothing needed for work

  • Costumes for actors / entertainers

Staff / employees

You can claim expenses for:

  • Employee / staff salaries

  • Bonuses

  • Pensions

  • Benefits

  • Agency fees

  • Subcontractors

  • Employer's National Insurance

  • Training courses (must be related to business)

Reselling goods

You can claim for:

  • Goods for resale (stock)

  • Raw materials

  • Direct costs from producing goods

Legal and financial

You can claim for the costs of:

  • Hiring accountants, solicitors, surveyors and architects for business reasons

  • Professional indemnity insurance premiums

Banking and credit cards

You can claim business costs for:

  • Bank charges

  • Credit card charges

  • Overdraft charges

  • Interest on bank / business loans

  • Hire purchase interest

  • Leasing payments

Marketing and entertainment

Things you can claim for include:

  • Advertising in newspapers / directories

  • Bulk mail advertising (mailshots)

  • Free samples

  • Website costs

Training courses

You can claim allowable business expenses for training that helps you improve your skills and knowledge used in the workplace. Any training courses must be related to your business.

Knowing what you're allowed to claim as a sole trader can be complicated - especially as work can vary significantly from person to person.

To find out more about allowable expenses you can claim visit:


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