Business Expenses: What Can You Claim?

If you’re self employed, you’ll be required to pay tax on all of your income that is above the personal allowance, however you can claim money back from HMRC on expenses that you need to spend to keep your business operating.

Many costs that are directly associated to your work, for example travelling between clients, can be deducted from your gross income when calculating the tax that you’re required to pay.

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we’ll be listing some of the most common business expenses that you can claim against your income tax.

Office supplies

You can claim expenses for a number of office supplies including:

  • Stationery
  • Printing costs – paper / ink
  • Postage
  • Phone and internet bills
  • Any software that has been in use for under two years

Business Premises

Perhaps somewhat lesser known, but you can claim expenses on a number of bills relating to your business premises. These include:

  • Rent
  • Rates
  • Utility bills
  • Buildings insurance
  • Maintenance / repair work
  • Security costs

It’s worth noting that if you have bought your business premises, you cannot claim any part of this process as an expense.


You can claim transport and travel costs on all journeys necessary for your work – this might be to visit a client or attend a meeting, however you cannot claim for travel to and from your workplace.

Professional / Legal Costs

If you use professional services including an accountant, financial adviser, solicitor or a surveyor, for business reasons, you can claim their fees as an expense.


For some jobs, it may be necessary to take out special forms of insurance. You can claim the following insurance as business expenses:

  • Travel insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance


If you, or your staff members require a uniform to work, you can also claim this cost as a business expense.

Trade / Professional Body Costs

If you are a member of a trade body or a professional organisation, these fees are also included in allowable expenses. So too is the cost of subscribing to any professional publications or magazines.

What Expenses Can I Claim if I Work from Home?

If you work from home, you can claim expenses such as electricity, heating, rent and internet and phone usage. However, keep in mind that you can only claim a portion of these utilities and there are several ways to work this out.

One method is to use the total number of rooms in your home – for example, if your home has six rooms and you use one as an office space, one-sixth of your electricity bill may be claimed as an expense.

If you have any questions about claiming business expenses or need any advice, contact our expert team today who will be happy to assist.