You’re in business to make money.
And a healthy profit at the end of the financial year is a sign that things are going well.
But remember you can claim expenses on some of your costs to help reduce your tax bill – as the rate you pay depends on the size of your profits.
Generally, you can claim costs that have incurred “wholly and exclusively” in relation to your trade. You can then deduct these expenses from your income and pay tax only on the profit left.
Here are five expenses you could claim for when running your own business:
Fuel and mileage
If your job involves travelling to see clients you may be able to claim ‘Mileage Allowance Relief’. The current rates for a car or van are 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles in a tax year and 25p per mile for miles over 10,000 in a tax year. If you drive to a place of work rather than work from home, then mileage allowance doesn’t apply.
If you work from home, you can claim a proportion of your bills such as heating and telephone. Claims of up to £18 per month don’t need proof of what you’ve spent. Anything over that will require invoices or receipts.
Maybe one of your clients lives a few hundred miles away and you need stay overnight. There are various travel and accommodation expenses you can claim such as parking, tolls, congestion charge, public transport costs, food and drink and hotel accommodation. But remember ‘entertainment’ is not allowed, so play fair!
Tools of the trade
Imagine you’re a gardener. There will be tools you use on a daily basis from a garden fork to hedge cutters to a lawn mower. If you need a repair on the mower, a service on your hedge cutters or your trusty fork needs replacing, all of these are business expenses you can claim for.
Perhaps you’ve become fed up of your feet on the ground and have trained to become a tree surgeon. You’ll need safety shoes, headgear and safety clothing – all of which will need repairing, replacing or cleaning at some point. Keep those receipts and claim for them.
Everything you claim for needs to have proof of expenditure – i.e. you need to be diligent about keeping all your invoices, receipts and papers. The HMRC can request proof of expsnes up to six years after you claim, so be sure to keep things filed safely.