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Top Allowable Expenses for Self-Employed Individuals in the UK


Woman working from home

At Ben Accounting Firm, we understand the importance of maximizing your profits. This blog post will guide you through some of the most common allowable expenses for self-employed individuals in the UK.

Key Allowable Expenses:


  • Office Essentials: Keep receipts for stationery, phone bills, internet subscriptions, printer ink, and postage used for business purposes.

  • Travel on the Go: Deduct business travel expenses like fuel, parking, train fares, and hotel stays (not commuting).

  • Dress for Success: Uniforms and specific protective clothing required for your work are claimable.

  • Invest in Your Team: Salaries, wages, employer's National Insurance contributions, and pension contributions for your employees can be deducted.

  • Stock Up & Resell: The cost of purchasing goods you sell (stock), raw materials, and direct production costs are allowable.

  • Professional Support: Fees paid to accountants, solicitors, surveyors, or architects for business needs, and professional indemnity insurance premiums qualify.

  • Note: Interest on business loans, leasing payments, and bank charges (limits apply) can also be deducted.

  • Your Business Space: Rent, utilities (electricity, gas, water), property insurance, and security costs for your business premises are claimable.

  • Working from Home? Claim a portion of home office expenses based on dedicated business use (calculated reasonably).

  • Spread the Word: The cost of creating a business website, advertising in directories or online, bulk mail marketing (mailshots), and free samples used for promotion are deductible.

  • Stay Sharp, Stay Ahead: Training courses that help you improve existing skills, keep you updated in your industry, or develop new skills relevant to your current business are allowable expenses. (**Excludes training for starting a new business or unrelated expansion.)

  • Stay Connected: Subscriptions to trade/professional journals and memberships in relevant trade bodies or professional organizations can be claimed.

  • What You Can't Claim: By understanding these allowable expenses and keeping organized records, you can confidently claim deductions and maximize your tax savings. Let Ben Accounting Firm be your partner in navigating tax season and achieving financial success!

  • Personal Expenses: Remember, anything unrelated to business operations (e.g., groceries, personal clothing) is not deductible.

  • The Daily Commute: Travel between home and work is not an allowable expense.

  • Client Entertainment: Generally, entertainment expenses are not claimable.

  • Breaking the Law: Fines and penalties incurred for breaking the law cannot be deducted.

  • Loan Repayments: Repayments for loans, overdrafts, or financing arrangements are not allowable expenses.

  • Mixing Business & Pleasure: Expenses associated with personal use of business assets are not claimable.

  • Everyday Clothes: Regular clothes you wear to work, even with a dress code, are not claimable.

  • Taking Care of Yourself: Gym memberships and donations to charity are considered personal expenses. (**Sponsorships may be claimable, consult with an accountant.)

  • Bad Debts (Cash Basis Accounting): Since you haven't received the money, you can't claim it as an expense.

  • Training for New Ventures: Training unrelated to your current business operations is not claimable.

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