The 6 Most Unusual Freelancer Expenses

Google reviews
June 16, 2017

When it comes to self-employed benefits, few rank higher than the tax you can claw back for expenses. The nature of your business demands a certain standard of results: the tools and arrangements to meet it, in many cases, class as an investment.

But it’s not always straightforward. Hence, we’ve analysed six of the oddest, subtle expenses on the freelancer market. Each orbits a different industry, just to give a semblance of what you may be missing, wherever your talent lies…

1. Chair fees for hairdressers

Every day, hundreds of self-employed hairdressers turn up at a salon, choosing to base themselves there for convenience’s sake. To do so, they rent a chair, paying the owner of the venue for the privilege. However, such fees are a classifiable expense, and can shave a lot of cash from yearly tax returns.

2. Sacramental objects for ministers of religion

Ministers of religion – or MoRs, as they’re known – have a complete separate expense list, with its own documents, to bolster their activity in a parish. When giving Mass, for instance, a Catholic priest can claim money back for the bread, wine and holy robes they’ll employ for the ritual.

3. Subscriptions for trades people 

How does a manual freelancer refine their techniques? Simple: amidst networking and online research, they can subscribe to an industry magazine, gleaning insights that are going to keep them ahead of their competitors. If you’re in this sector, you’re entitled to get a tax break on any trade material you order through the mail. HMRC have termed it a direct business advantage.

4. Promotional activity for artists

Actually ‘making it’ as a self-employed artist is, by all accounts, quite hard. Prospective painters, sculptors and multi-media creatives have to get their work before as many pairs of eyes as they can. The UK government allows professional photography to be tax-free, as long as it’s marketing an art portfolio. The same is true of exhibition costs, too.

5. Vehicle parts for mechanics

For the freelance road service professional, there’s going to be a lot to swap or affix when solving car trouble. Customers might need a replacement chassis, wheel, engine component, brake pad… The list goes on and on. Luckily, mechanics can offset the price of any remedial parts with an expense form. Over time, this’ll form a significant cash figure that’d otherwise be lost to bad bookkeeping.

6. Editing software for camera experts

Capturing something on camera or film is one of the most diverse freelance professions out there. But it’s also expensive to get your hands on the right software, which is why it’s important to claim back the tax relief you’re due when it comes to your Self Assessment tax return.

To say that we’ve hardly scratched the surface is an understatement… These claims are more like a soft tickle on the body of freelancer expenses and tax guidelines. For more information, and to hire a team of freelancer accountants that can stick with you through it all, call Bright Ideas Accountancy on 0161 451 3940 or email

Confused man


Recent Articles

650,000 extra pensioners pay tax for the first time this month

650,000 extra pensioners pay tax for the first time this month

Around 650,000 pensioners are facing the prospect of paying tax on their pensions for the first time from this month thanks to a big boost to the State Pension from April 6, and frozen tax bands that will drag them into the tax net, according to calculations from...

The end of the P11D is expected in 2026

The end of the P11D is expected in 2026

The P11D form which has been used to process ‘benefits-in-kind’ such as loans for season tickets and company cars will no longer be used after April 2026, as HMRC will ask businesses to deal with all these benefits through the payroll instead. HMRC announced earlier...

Cryptocurrency gains must be reported on self-assessments

Cryptocurrency gains must be reported on self-assessments

If you hold or invest in cryptocurrency, or even if your employer pays you in a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, you may need to declare this on your self-assessment form. For anyone who didn’t in the 2022/23 form which should have been filed before January 31, it...

Ready to join us?

Whether you’re a contractor, freelancer, or small business, Bright Ideas can help remove the burden of time-consuming and complex finances. We’ll draw on our years of knowledge and experience earned helping sole traders just like you.

When you choose us, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Account Manager who’ll provide one-on-one support that’s customised to your business. Communication is key, so we’ll always answer your questions or requests as soon as we can. In fact, we offer a same-day response guarantee for emails and calls received before 3pm.

Contact us to get started

Give us a call us or send an email today!

Looking to switch accountants?
We make the transition simple.

Does your current accountant give 1-to-1 support? Are they fast and thorough?
Slap-dash services hold businesses back, so try our experts instead.

Move to an accountancy service that goes the extra mile…

Start the conversation

Let’s make your finances Brighter

Call us Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

0161 669 4221

Request a call back