Deductible business expenses – are you maximising your tax relief?


Every month it costs money to run your business. Whether it’s your office rent, paying your staff or even that cup of coffee you had with a new client earlier in the week – the unspoken rule of business is that you have to spend money before you can make it.

There is a way however, to use this spend to improve your profit margins, by claiming tax relief on your deductible business expenses.  But which expenses are actually deductible, and which receipts should you be keeping to send to us?

A general rule-of-thumb is that essential costs which keep your business running properly can be considered tax deductible and you therefore don’t pay tax on the money you’ve spent.  However, this does not apply to all business costs.

So, to ensure that you don’t accidentally move from tax avoidance (legally reducing your taxable income) to tax evasion (concealing income or information from tax authorities), here is a quick cheat sheet of some expenses that you can claim, and some that you can’t.

When in doubt however, it is always best to get in touch with us to get the facts.   We can help you stay on the right side of HMRC while maximising your tax relief!

What you can claim

  • Staff costs
  • Uniforms
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Mileage (45p per mile)
  • Unpaid invoices (bad debts)
  • Business insurance
  • Subscriptions
  • Donations to recognised charities
  • Staff entertainment (subject to restrictions
  • Financial and banking costs
  • Trading stock
  • Office expenses
  • Office rental
  • Proportional home expenses (if working from home)

What you can’t claim

  • Asset depreciation
  • Shareholder dividends
  • Improvements to capital assets
  • Client entertainment
  • Customer gifts
  • Donations to non-recognised charities
  • Fines and penalties
  • Commuting costs
  • Goods bought for personal use

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