StockbrokerWhilst working as self employed you are bound to incur expenses that are required for the running of your business. These can then be offset against your revenue to reduce your overall tax liability.

You never want to pay more tax than you need to, so it makes sense to claim for all the expenses that you can. Just remember that an expense has to be ‘wholly and exclusively’ for business purposes, so you can’t claim your weekly food shop.

To give you an idea of what you can claim, here is a comprehensive list of expenses for the self employed.

Travel & Accommodation
If you have to travel to a different place of work you can claim the cost of your travel and accommodation. Travel can be claimed either at 45p per mile or driven or if you have traveled by train or plane, the ticket price can be claimed.

As long as the accommodation is deemed reasonable you can also claim for an overnight stay – just don’t try to claim a stay at a 5 star hotel.

Professional Memberships
You might have professional memberships to help you obtain work or keep up to date with the latest trends. Well, as long as the membership is relevant to your profession, the full cost can be claimed as an expense.

If you find a course that can help to develop your skills, the full cost can be claimed. It just needs to be relevant to your profession.

Web services
You might have a website to promote your services online and you’ll incur design and hosting costs along the way, these can be claimed as a business expense.

As long as equipment purchases are ‘wholly and exclusively’ for business purposes, you can claim the full cost as an expense.

Working from home
If you work from home, there are a couple of ways that you can claim an expense. The simplest is to claim a flat rate of £4 per week, or you can calculate the increase in utility bills as a result of you working from home and claim that amount as a business expense. You can’t claim for fixed costs like council tax as this would be payable whether your worked from home or not.

Other expenses include:

• Rent
• Stationary
• Salaries
• Insurance
• Entertainment
• Accountancy fees
• Pensions

Remember that you need to keep all of your receipts to prove that you have actually incurred an expense.

If you aren’t sure whether or not a particular expense you have incurred can be classed as a business expense, it is always recommended that you check with your accountant.

My name is James Timpson and I’m a keen writer in the accounting and finance department. I like to provide useful tips to readers who are inexperienced or require assistance within their business. Copyright © 2014 Arnold Hill.