6 Tax Tips for Sole Traders

Whether you are new to self-employment or have years of business experience, it can often be difficult to work out what expenses you can claim on your business whilst filing a self assessment tax return or sorting your accounts. The general rule of thumb is that you are able to claim expenses that are purely and exclusively for the purpose of running your business. Thanks to Plummer Parsons who gave us a few expenses that a lot of people tend to miss:


Many self-employed jobs will require you to do a lot of driving, so it makes sense for you to claim mileage expenses. You are able to claim 45p per mile (up to 10,000 miles and 25p for each mile after that) against your business for any business travelling in your own car. A sole trader could claim capital allowances and motor expenses, such as petrol.

Expenses of working from home

If you work from home you’re able to claim £4 for every week you use a room in your house for business, throughout your working year. An alternative would be to take away a portion of your homes utility cost, making sure you only count the costs of the room being used for work.

Cost of redecorating

If you decide to redecorate your office or house then you are able to claim all the costs back against your business. If you need to carry out any repairs on your house that relate to your business, then you will also be able to claim this as an expense.

Phone and Internet

When most people start up a business they already have a landline or mobile phone, and it serves as their main business phone. If this is the case then you’re able to claim this as an expense. The same can be said for the Internet, if your broadband is essential to your business then you’re able to claim it.

Furniture and office equipment

If your business requires any furniture or the use of office equipment, and they are essential for day-to-day work, then you may be able to claim this as an expense. Many people will have bought these items before establishing their business, so it’s worth seeing if you’re eligible for reimbursement.

Printer Ink

Many sole traders require the use of a printer, and this means they could be replacing ink cartridges frequently. If this is the case you will soon realise that it’s not cheap. If a printer is an essential part of running your business then it makes sense to claim a certain amount of the ink used as an expense.

These days more and more people are opting for self-employment, being your own boss means you have to cover the majority of the business expenses yourself. The first few years of a self employed business are never smooth sailing, so to make sure you don’t become unstuck by expenses it’s important to know what you can claim back against your business.


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