What expenses you can and can’t claim

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December 02, 2015
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As a freelancer or contractor in the UK, you are responsible for keeping track of your income and ensuring that you are paying the correct amount of taxes each financial year. While hiring a professional bookkeeper is always best practice, you should be aware that you are entitled to claim certain expenses (and not others) each year.

Understanding what expenses that you can claim – and which ones you cannot – does not have to be complicated. Here is a brief list  of some of the more common expenses that can be claimed (when they are purely business related).

  • Travel – When travelling to and from business obligations in a temporary place of work you can claim taxi trips, public transport, mileage for your vehicle and even 20p per mile for your bicycle journeys!
  • Business Trips – You can claim your plane/ train/ bus and boat fares, as well as your accommodation. Your “incidental overnight expenses” are limited to £5 per night within the UK and £10 per night internationally.
  • Clothing – You can claim for protective or specialised clothing that you require to do your job.
  • Computers – You can claim for any hardware and software that you have purchased in order to do your job.
  • Journals and magazines – Any publications associated with your industry can be claimed.
  • Professional body membership fees – These membership fees can be claimed, providing they are listed on the HMRC’s Section 201 list.
  • Telephone (Fixed Line/ Mobile) – Telephone lines that are solely used for a contractor’s business can be claimed, as can individual calls on other lines.

Remember – always keep your receipts (FreeAgent can help you keep these organised). If you are unsure about whether or not an expense can be claimed, ask your accountant.

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