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Self-employed: what business expenses can I deduct from my tax bill?

If you're self-employed, you will have various costs in order to run your business. HMRC allows you to deduct the cost of certain expenses that they feel are necessary to run your business. You can deduct these costs from your profit, which will reduce the amount of tax you owe. Here are some of the main things you can claim for:

Business premises

You can claim for:

  • Heating

  • Electricity

  • Rent

  • Cleaning

  • Internet and phone use

  • Water rates

  • Business rates

  • General maintenance

  • Property insurance

  • Security

Stationery / supplies

You can claim for:

  • Stationery

  • Postage

  • Printing

  • Printer ink / cartridges

  • Computer software (varied)

  • Uniforms

  • Protective clothing

  • Costumes for actors / entertainers

You won't be able to claim for every day clothing worn to work.


You can claim for:

  • Fuel

  • Parking

  • Insurance

  • Repairs and services

  • Hire charges

  • Vehicle licence fees

  • Breakdown cover

  • Train, bus, taxi and air fees

  • Hotel rooms

  • Meals (if on overnight business trip)

You won't be able to claim on travel between your home and work or any fines.

Employees / staff

You can claim business expenses for:

  • Employee and staff salaries

  • Bonuses

  • Pensions

  • Agency fees

  • Benefits

  • Sub-contractors

  • Employers National Insurance

  • Business training courses

To claim on any of these costs you must keep records of all your business expenses for proof of these costs. You will then need to add up all your allowable expenses for the tax year and include the total on your Self-Assessment tax return.

If you have an accountant, you must provide full details of your expenses to them to ensure that these records are accurate.

If you need advice on which expenses you can claim or with submitting a Self-Assessment tax return, contact us on 01268 770099.

For full details of the expenses you can claim and how to claim them visit -

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