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Posts tagged “Expenses”

One of the recurring topics I discuss with clients is business clothing – what can you claim, what can’t you claim and why. As a business owner, contractor or freelancer, it is of course important to be smartly dressed and give a great impression to your clients and customers – but unfortunately that doesn’t mean it can be claimed as a business expense. 
A small gesture of thanks can have a big impact on employee satisfaction, morale, and productivity. For employers, so called trivial benefits can make a big difference in the daily operations of a company and the good news is that many can be classed as tax free and don’t require legal paperwork. And yes, this can apply for directors of small companies too! Don’t miss out! 
One of the most common questions I am asked my contractors and other small business owners is “I work from home; can I claim the costs of the rent?” In the blog post, I will explain what you need to consider and what you may be able to claim. 
Many of you may remember from your pre-contracting days that your employer offered free eye tests. But, as a contractor, what are you entitled to? 
Contractors in the UK are allowed to claim back travel expenses, so long as these are incurred while travelling to and from a ‘temporary workplace’. A workplace is deemed temporary so long as the contractor is not travelling to the same site for a period of 24 months or longer. Beyond this point, contractors cannot claim back travel expenses. This period is known as the 24 Month Rule and is something all contractors should be aware of. 
At first glance, a company car may appear to be a fantastic perk, but once employees start looking at the emissions based company car tax they’ll have to pay, the luxury of having one may begin to seem like a reluctant or unnecessary expense. And once we consider the National Insurance costs to the employer and the delay in claiming deductions for depreciation, such as capital allowances, it becomes clear that a company car is unlikely to be tax efficient from either side. But what about a company motorcycle? 
Contractors in the UK may have heard recent rumblings of new legislation placing restrictions on claiming tax relief on travel and subsistence. The dreaded “IR35” will take effect from this month (April 2016), but what do the changes mean for you? 
Investing in a pension personally allows you to benefit from tax relief at your highest marginal rate but you must draw the contribution as salary and dividends. However you can also invest directly via your company which not only saves the hassle of drawing out the funds but also reduces your corporation tax bill without any benefit in kind considerations. 
Many business owners are unaware that they may be able to put life insurance through the company as a legitimate tax-deductible business expense. Not only that, if the policy meets certain conditions, it is not treated as a benefit-in-kind so there is no National Insurance or personal tax payable. Win, win! 
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