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What Expenses Can I Claim If I’m Self Employed Or In A Partnership?

Accountancy, Legal & Professional Fees

Yes, you can claim your accountant's, solicitor's and any other professional fees in most cases as long as they are solely related to your business.

Advertising & Marketing

All advertising and marketing costs for your business can be claimed.  This includes literature you print, business cards, leaflets etc, advertisements in print and online, trade shows, as well as Networking Meeting fees. 

Interest, Overdraft Charges, Credit Card Charges & Paypal Fees

Business Accounts - if the charges relate to a separate business account all the fees can be claimed as an expense.

Personal Accounts - if you use your personal account for business purposes too, then only the business percentage of fees can be claimed.  


If you have a separate broadband contract for your business then the whole cost will be an allowable expense.  However if you use your home broadband for both business and personal then you can only claim for the business use percentage.

Business Use of Home

If you work from home you can claim a proportion of your electric, gas, water, council tax, insurance and mortgage interest or rent.  If you are lucky enough to have a cleaner you can also claim the business proportion of their costs.  The amount to claim is based on the amount of rooms in your house used for business purposes and the amount of time working from home.

Charitable Donations

You can get tax relief on some charitable donations, however these are not to be included as a business expense, they are taken into account separately in your tax return.


You are not able to claim for any childcare costs.


Generally clothing is not an allowable expense.  However there are a few exceptions.  If you have to wear a uniform or costume as part of your business then these can be claimed.  Logo'd clothing is also an allowable expense.  Protective clothing, ie safety helmet, high vis jacket, steel toe cap boots, aprons, etc can also be claimed as an expense.

Computer Equipment, Consumables & Software

Computer Equipment will not be classed as an expense, but will be classed as an asset and you can claim capital allowances for the costs.  You can also claim capital allowances for second hand equipment and equipment you owned personally then brought into the business.  If you use the equipment for personal purposes aswell, then only the business percentage can be claimed.  Software and consumables are classed as an expense, and only the business percentage of the these can be claimed if there is any personal use.

Cost of Sales

All costs relating to purchasing goods for re-sale or provide a service with are allowable. Costs of services sub-contracted to another supplier are also allowable.


Entertaining clients - unfortunately you can't claim any expense for entertaining clients.

Entertaining employees - this is allowable for tax relief, but only in certain circumstances.  To ensure it is a qualifying event and not a taxable benefit for your staff it must be an annual event (ie Christmas party), open to all staff, and cost less than £150 per guest present.

Food & Drink

Food and drink has always been a tricky one, as HMRC argue you need food and drink to live, therefore it is not an allowable expense.  However there are a few occasions when you can claim the costs as an expense.

At your home or office - if you don't have any staff then you can't claim the cost of food and drink you buy for when you are working at home or in your usual office.  If you do have employees you can claim the cost of basic food and drink for them, and free meals at a canteen - as long as they are available to all staff.

While travelling - you are only able to claim for food and drink when making a journey outside of your normal working pattern, or for when you are staying away from home overnight for business purposes.

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