Business expenses allow millions of people every year to make tax savings putting cashback into your pockets and not HMRC.
For people who are self employed there are many well-known business expenses for which you can be claim tax back e.g. Insurance, Company car, Equipment or Software. But there are some that are less well known. Below are five business expenses that you might not know about.
1. Mobile Phone – Calls, Data & Messages
If you use your personal mobile phone for work, then you’re able to claim back some of the money you spend on the bill. The amount you claim back should be a reasonable estimate of how much of your bill is related to your work.
You can calculate this easily by gauging what percentage of the time you spend on your phone for work, and then multiply this by the total phone bill. This can include costs for calls, messages and data usage.
2. Working from home
If you conduct business activity from your home, there are a number of often-overlooked costs which you can claim a proportion of tax relief for:
- Utility bills
- Council tax
The GOV.UK website contains an exhaustive list of what you could claim as part of working from home here.
3. Business trips
If the journey being undertaken is not part of your regular working day, all costs related to travel can be claimed. The same goes for accommodation, which means that that a standard hotel room is fine to expense.
What is reasonable? Is the room with the single bed okay, but the double too extravagant? The key here is to ensure you act within the realm of what HMRC would label as necessary. This means that you will have to make a judgement. The question you should ask here is; Can I justify it? If you can there should be nothing to worry about.
Business training that is necessary in order to do your job or run the workplace safely and legally, e.g. First Aid training as a lifeguard – can be expensed in its entirety.
Training that is business-related but less essential to the profession at hand, such as having an external trainer come to your place of work to deliver professional coaching or mentorship can also be expensed.
5. Meals (but not with entertainment)
Any costs relating to food or drink that are part of your normal working routine cannot be claimed.
However, any meal-related expenses which fall out of this definition, but which are still wholly and exclusively for the purposes of trade, can be considered an allowable expense. For example, picking up lunch during a conference would be acceptable.
Entertainment, such as a theatre ticket with a meal is however not considered to be an allowable expense.
Need help with managing your accounts, tax payments and claims? Get in touch with our team for a free business review session today. You can book yours online here or if you prefer you can call us on 01993 225 030