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Expert Accountant Speaks out on Business Expenses

One of the most misunderstood aspects of working for yourself is what can be claimed as a business expense. Some people get it completely wrong.

Just like the guy who tried to put his underpants down as a business expense or the business owner who thought regular Friday night bonding sessions just had to claimed for.

Because of this confusion, a leading accountant who is an expert on all things to do with business expenses, has decided to speak out and educate the UK public, especially those self employed people who work from home.

Let’s start with household bills…can these be claimed as an expense? According to the expert, a portion of bills such as water, electricity, heating etc can be put down as an expense on your tax return, although the exact amount is not always straight forward.

In my opinion, the best way to make sure you are claiming as much of your household bills as possible, without going too far and getting into bother with HMRC, is to hire a contractor accountant who will know exactly how much you can claim.

The next expense you might be curious about is those important home office costs, such as phone, internet, laptops, and software.

Again, the answer is not always straight forward, and depends a lot on exactly what everything is used for. An example of this is your phone bill. If you make both personal and business calls then only a portion of the bill can be claimed as an expense, although if your bill is made up of 100% business calls then you should be able to put it all down on your tax return.

As always though, I advise everybody reading this to clarify your own unique situation with a contractor accountant.

Another business expense that is often misinterpreted is travel. Can you claim for those travel tickets for your business meeting, and what is the situation if you use your car for both business and personal reasons?

The expert accountant gives us some good advice in this kind of situation, basically saying that travel costs such as tickets can be claimed as long as the trip was for business purposes, while if it is a regular expense then it would be classed as commuting instead of an expense and so can’t be claimed for.

As for the subject of using your personal car for business, this is similar to household bills in that a portion can be claimed for.

If you ask me, contacting a good contractor accountant is the best way to go here because trying to work it all out on your own is time consuming.

There are many other business expenses that need to be taken into consideration when doing your tax return at the end of the year. If you are in any doubt then speak with an accountant.

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