One of the topics which is most often subject to confused disinformation, is that of self-employed expenses. As Southampton’s local accountant, we hear all sorts of odd things suggested as being tax deductible. So in the latest instalment of the Roger Smallman & Co. Ltd blog series, we’ve looked to provide a brief overview of what businesses can and can’t claim for in the expense department.
Work from home? A percentage of your property’s utility bills can usually be included as expenses, specifically light, heating and electrics; the same goes for your phone. There are two different approaches you can take in regards to calculating the amount to claim on utilities: 1) You calculate the percentage of the total bill via the total space of your office, in its relation to the wider property. 2) You can select a daily flat rate as dictated by HMRC. As accountants for many self-employed Southampton residents, we also urge you to also consider any expenditure made on marketing, stationary, software, computer desks and chairs, and a computer/laptop itself.
If you leave the property on business, for example for a meeting with a client or a sales call, you can also claim back on vehicle expenses; again there are two approaches: a) 45p per mile or b) a fixed percentage of running costs, tied to the amount of business use you get out of your vehicle. Time commuting is seen as personal use, so do not add this.
We’re often asked about whether food can be deducted; it can if the food is purchased while working away: items purchased to eat at home or drink on the way to the office are not allowed for. Southampton workers who require a uniform e.g a high vis jacket and robust gloves/shoes, can in fact put these forward as expenses. Specific training programmes in direct correlation with your business are also fine. Any fee you spend enlisting an accountant, like Roger Smallman & Co. Ltd in Southampton, can also be claimed as expenses, making our services even more cost effective.
However, keep in mind these are just a few of the overall sum of expenses that you may be entitled to claim on. If you wish to perfect your tax return and identify areas in which you can save, considering visiting a trained accountant like one of our Southampton based team’s!