Bah Humbug: Tax Tips For A Self-Employed Christmas

Your list for Christmas-related expenditures is probably growing by the day, and every time you realise an additional cost your heart sinks. But, as someone who’s self-employed, you can have more money in your pocket by taking advantage of the tax breaks and claimable expenses available at this time of year.

Whilst tax is likely the last thing you want to be thinking about in amongst all the festive cheer, we’ve laid out a few tips you can’t miss out on benefitting from…

Purchase yourself a present

If you wanted to treat yourself during Christmas, you can reap the tax rewards whilst doing so. Of course, you can’t purchase yourself a whole new winter wardrobe (uniforms and protective clothing aside!) or a holiday abroad. But you can claim on specific expenses related to your business.

For example, if you fancy indulging in new equipment, you could buy a new device – or perhaps a printer or software to help with your work. Perhaps there might be office-related expenses to offset, such as fresh stationery, or you might want to furnish it with a new desk and chair. These and other expenses can then be listed on your Self Assessment tax return.

Give gifts to clients or employees

Maybe you want to spread the giving by gifting to clients – this also counts as an allowable expense, under the provision that they are up to the value of £50 and seen as advertising the business. They will need to have your branding or logo clearly displayed on them. The traditional gifts like alcohol, food, tobacco and vouchers do not count, as they are classed as business entertainment which is never an allowable expense.

If you have any employees, then you can buy them gifts under £50 without reporting or paying tax or National Insurance contributions on them. However, those above this amount will fall outside of trivial benefits. A Christmas bonus is also taxable, whether it’s in cash or vouchers.

Offset the costs of Christmas campaigns

Promotional Christmas gifts would be classified as ‘marketing’ on your Self Assessment. You could also take this opportunity to claim on other expenses related to the marketing function of your business. Christmas is the ideal time to launch campaigns to drive business.

You could send out bulk mail advertising, promote via your website, or advertise in newspapers or directories. Another idea is to offer free samples if this is something that’s applicable to your business.

Ensure you claim on time with tax software

Taking advantage of these tax tips can only be done if they are accurately recorded on your Self Assessment, and in time for the tax return deadline. Getting the calculations right isn’t easy for those who aren’t proficient in tax. This is where tax return software can help.

GoSimpleTax takes care of the figures. We also provide other tax-saving suggestions besides those you can take advantage of during the Christmas period. It’s easy to use, allowing you to input data in a straightforward manner at any time of the year. The calculations then automatically adjust to show your tax liability in real time, so you’ll have a view of it over the festive season and beyond.

To receive the gift of simple taxes, take a free 14-day trial of our software today.

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