Self-employed expenses: what can I claim?

Running a business can be both expensive and stressful. Even though there are a range of different reliefs, allowances and expenses that you are allowed to claim back for the current tax year, it is very…

5 Minute Read

Last Updated: 23rd March 2023

Running a business can be both expensive and stressful. Even though there are a range of different reliefs, allowances and expenses that you are allowed to claim back for the current tax year, it is very important to know what is allowable and what is not allowable. As a general rule of thumb, you can’t claim for personal costs.

What types of expenses are there?

The costs of running a business falls into 3 different categories; capital, business and personal.

Capital – This is the cost of buying, creating or improving a business asset, used to increase profit. For example, the cost of buying a van for your business would fall under capital expenditure. Other examples include buying machinery, technology, fixtures etc.

Business – You can get tax relief for your business costs as long as its not capital expenditure or specifically non-allowable. Examples of specifically non-allowable expenses are the legal costs of buying property, entertaining clients; basically, any payments for non-business costs.

Personal – Private or personal expenditure is what you spend in your day-to-day life, such as wages, costs of goods or services for private use and loan repayments. Private expenditure is non-allowable, and you can’t claim it back.

What am I allowed to claim as self-employed?

You can claim a business expense as long as it:

  • Isn’t capital expenditure
  • Isn’t non-allowable
  • Is wholly and exclusively for business

Here is a list of common expenses:

  • Costs of stock
  • Repairs
  • Travel expenses
  • Professional fees
  • Finance costs
  • Administration
  • Payroll costs

Self employed business expenses vary from business to business so including a complete list of common expenses is almost impossible. Hopefully this brief overview gives you the basic understandings of what is and what is not allowable, enabling you to claim back as much tax as possible. GoSimpleTax is here to help the self-employed claim all of the deductions and credits they are entitled to!

Register with GoSimpleTax  now if you want to:

  • Save money on your taxes
  • Avoid HMRC hassles
  • Make this year’s tax return incredibly simple
  • File online the easy way for free!

Access GoSimpleTax and discover a new free way of filing your return (HMRC approved), know what expenses will help you lower your tax bill and keep all your records online, safe & sound. Ready to file with one click! Free means free. No hidden costs.

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Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.


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