26th May 2017
The majority of self-employed people work from home; either from a dedicated office space in their house or garden, or more often at the kitchen table. Working from home may add to the cost of running your home – you will probably use more heat, lighting and power, and you may make business phone calls from your home number.
You can deduct some of these costs from your income when you prepare your tax return. There are rules on what you can claim, and on what proportion of those costs is allowable. That’s why it’s always worth talking to your accountant to make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to, and that you’re claiming it correctly.
What can you claim? You may be able to claim for any or all of the following:
How is it worked out?
You are probably only working from one room in your home. The basic calculation is the amount you pay in total, divided by the number of rooms in your home. You may also need to take into account the amount of time you use that room for business purposes, especially if it is not a dedicated office space, or you are working part-time.
Talk to your accountant about whether it is better for your business to claim the exact amounts of home expenses or to use HMRC’s simplified expenses option, which sets flat rates for a range of business expenses, including business costs for vehicles, home-related expenses and expenses incurred if you live in your business premises.
Making sure you claim
Many self-employed people are unaware that they can deduct these expenses from their income. Reducing your income this way, and within the HMRC guidelines lowers your tax bill, and there may be other ways in which an accountant or tax specialist can help you to make the most of your business. To find out more, just contact us today.