If you are self-employed, there are many ways you can save money by claiming taxable allowances – but there are also some that you can’t claim for.

Tax Allowances: What You Can Claim For

Salaries and benefits

You can claim for any employee wages, national insurance and redundancy payments. If you provided your employees with any benefits  such as insurance, pension or childcare provision, you can also claim for those. Any training you pay for is also allowed.

Business premises

Any costs for heating, lighting, cleaning, water rate and rent can be claimed as expenses. You can also deduct any business rates and general maintenance costs from your overall profits.

Working from home

Similar to working in a business-specific premises, you can also claim if you work from home. Costs for lighting, heating, cleaning, insurance, rent, mortgage interest, council tax, water rates and general maintenance. However, you can only claim for the proportion of those costs, so, for example, if your home has three rooms and you use one of those rooms for a mix of business and personal use, you can only claim for the proportion of the time that that room is used for the business.

Travel and accommodation

Any costs of running a car or other vehicle – petrol, car tax, insurance, repairs and servicing can be claimed if it is used exclusively for your business. If you share the car for the purposes of private use as well, then you can only claim for a proportion of those costs – always keep a log for your business use. You can also claim for public transport or ir travel, as long as it is exclusively for business. Again, this must be exclusively for your business and if not, only a proportion of that cost can be claimed for. Accommodation and meals can be claimed for overnight stays, but don’t book yourself in at The Dorchester – your claims must be reasonable and in accordance with your business.

Tax Allowances: What You Can’t Claim For

Salaries and benefits

Self-employed people cannot claim your own wages, salary or other money drawn from the business, their own National Insurance contributions and income tax or your own pension costs and life insurance.

Business premises

You are not allowed to claim the initial cost of buildings, alterations or improvements – although you may qualify for annual investment allowance or capital allowances for this, but it is important to check with your accountant for your own particular circumstances.

Travel and accommodation

Travel between home and your normal workplace is not allowed, nor are the costs of buying a vehicle (although this may be classed as a capital allowance. Meals are generally not allowed to be expenses, unless you are staying overnight – and these must be a reasonable cost. If you do claim for meals,keep your receipts and be prepared to argue your case.