When filing your Self Assessment tax return, HMRC allows you to claim relief on eligible expenses that your business needs to thrive. But the question of what, exactly, is eligible can be broader than you might think. Plenty of self-employed professionals miss out on tax breaks, simply because they weren’t aware they existed.
To give you an idea of where you could shave money off your tax bill, here are seven unexpected investments that HMRC will grant relief for.
1. Salon chair hire
If you’re a hairdresser, there’s a pressing requirement for somewhere to work, unless you visit clients’ houses personally. Yet many hair and beauty entrepreneurs can’t afford a full-time, rented premises of their own. Hiring salon chairs is a valid expense claim. They give you a base from which to operate, typically with a percentage of the profit going to whoever’s leasing the space.
2. Telephone line rental
Home workers can claim tax back on their phone line, even if it’s a mix of private and professional use. This could be your landline or mobile phone, so if you’re constantly taking business calls on the go, you could be knocking this off your tax bill!
3. Trade subscriptions
Need the latest industry news to stay ahead of the competition? Claim this on your Self Assessment tax return. Plumbing bulletins, craft mags, vehicle directories and online membership fees all count, depending on your job. HMRC doesn’t leave room for lifetime member costs, though; they have approved subscription guidelines to follow.
4. Hanging fees in a gallery
Artists have to make a living too; canvases, paints and sculpting materials are considered necessary purchases. When they’ve completed the work, a self-employed artist can claim back on whatever a gallery charges them to exhibit it, including framing and hanging it on a wall.
5. Corporate entertainment
Want to treat your staff to a good time? HMRC lets you do it, providing you don’t spend more than £150 per head and you make it an annual event. Clients, unfortunately, do not count.
6. Office supplies
Whether you have a printer, notepad or basket of biros, the government will cut the tax from necessary office equipment. The same goes for other, more complex kit such as 3D printing or a shredder for your bank statements. Chairs, desks and receipt tins count too, if you can prove they are solely used for the business.
7. Holy scripture
MoRs (Ministers of Religion) have a specific Self Assessment form that covers many aspects of their community service. They’re able to class a fresh set of robes, secretarial assistance, ministerial journeys and repairs to the vicarage as expenditure. At the same time, HMRC grants relief on every holy book they acquire for the benefit of the congregation.
The seven categories we’ve described here are just a sample of what you could be missing out on. To bolster any expense claim, discover SimpleTax for your non-PAYE income: it’s a smooth, cloud-based tool that makes it easy to calculate your Self Assessment tax return and submit directly to HMRC.
SimpleTax gives you an up-to-the-minute view of eligible allowances for anyone who needs to complete a tax return. Watch this video to see it in action.