Are you paying too much tax by not knowing what you can claim?

When you are self-employed one of the headaches that come along with it is having to file your tax return at the end of the tax year. It can often be a tedious and confusing task, as the forms can complicated and confusing to those unfamiliar processing tax returns. What many people are unaware of, is there are many allowable deductions that can be made to decrease your tax bill.

Some people prefer to save a bit of money by filling in their tax return by themselves. However by going through an accountant, despite having to pay for their services, you will usually save more by an expert comprehensively claiming for all allowable expenses and ensuring that you’re not paying too much tax.

The following expenses are areas that self-employed people mistakenly overlook or do not realise they can claim for.

Accountancy, Legal and other Professional Fees

If you use the services of an accountant or solicitor you are able to reclaim those expenses back on tax. Even though you would save money filing a tax return yourself, the quoted price by a professional would be able to be deducted from your tax bill. What must be noted, is that even though solicitors, surveyors and architect fees are allowable, they are not when they are associated with buying property, large items of equipment, settling tax disputes or fines for breaking the law.

Bank and Financial Charges

Overdraft and credit charges are allowed to be deducted from your tax bill, while these are generally not a significant amount over the course of the year they can really add up and make a difference.  Interest and fees paid on business bank loans and overdrafts are deductible.  However the capital repayment part is not, likewise the receipt of the loan in the first place is not taxable income.

Written Off Debts

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of not receiving payment for goods or services then you can claim back the tax on the bad debt. This applies for goods that have already been calculated as part of the revenue of the company, but because you are not actually going to receive the money, they can be deducted.


If you have taken out any insurance specifically related to your business this can be claimed as a deductible expense. Suitable examples would be public liability insurance, shop insurance, fleet and haulage insurance and many other different policies. As long as the purpose is business specific then it is deductible.

Motor and Travel Expenses

Expenses cover most things that incur costs for the purpose of travel. This include vehicle insurance, fuel, parking, license fees, break down cover, public transport fees and even hotel rooms and meals. If your vehicle is used for both work and personal use, then only the private use proportion is deductible.

Most of the above expenses can be often over-looked to inexperienced self-employed people filing out their tax returns, to ensure you get the highest possible amounts deducted, it is worthwhile to use a professional accountant. Not of us want to be paying too much tax! For a more comprehensive list, refer to the HMRC website.