Spend, Spend, Spend! (While Keeping Self-Employed Expense Claims In Line with HMRC)

By JackOctober 15, 2015

– This article was last updated on 16 July 2021-

Last of the big spenders? No such thing. The self-employed are all about big spending, seeing their businesses dish out on all sorts from uniforms to utilities, pens to parking, wages to websites.

But it’s not all life à la Viv Nicholson, and with knowledge of what constitutes allowable expenses you can claim in line with HMRC, have those costs deducted from your business’s total revenue, and so readjust your taxable profit.

The image shows a calculator and sheets of paper which represent the self-employed expenses that businesses claim

Here’s a quick breakdown of the allowable self-employed expenses you should know about (for more information, go to the GOV.UK):

  • Daily running costs

Costs such as rent of office space, insurance, lighting, heating and other utilities, as well as cleaning and maintenance.

  • Admin costs

All those paper clips and post-its.

  • Fees and charges

Solicitors, accountants, management consulting and other professional fees, as well as bank charges and certain insurance policies.

  • Marketing costs

Website design and maintenance, advertising, samples and photography.

  • Wages and salaries

Also national insurance and pensions contributions, benefits and bonuses.

  • Stock and materials

Raw materials for processing into product, as well as stock and production costs.

But that’s not all, if you use traditional accounting, you can claim for the costs of capital allowance such as in the following areas of expenditure (although as a sole trader or partner earning less than 82,000 per year, you may use the cash basis for your Self Assessment tax return):

  • Plant and machinery

Think big, think durable, i.e. equipment, machinery and vehicles, demolishing, fitting, alterations and repairs of integral plant features and fixtures.

  • Renovating business premises

  • Research and development

  • Intellectual property and patents

A little knowledge goes a long way, but so does efficient, accurate receipt management – and with the ExpenseIn solution, of course, you can not only ensure HMRC compliance, but also a spreadsheet-free, receipt-free workflow and management of self-employed expenses.