When you start a business, it can be quite stressful to figure out what can go through your business and what can’t especially when you don’t know what will have tax implications.
As a rule of thumb, you claim for “any expense that is wholly and exclusively for Business Use”. You can split some costs which are for both personal and business, but we’ll come to that later.
So, to dive right in, the 30 things you can buy are:
1. IT equipment
2. Mobile phone
3. Protective clothing
4. New Machinery
5. Office furniture
6. Legal Expenses
7. Accountancy fees
8. New vans / Cars
9. Vehicle expenses - owned vehicles
a. Fuel / repairs / services / MOT / Insurance
10. Business insurance
12. Advertising expenses
13. Marketing expenses
14. Business coaching and consultancy
15. Client retention expenses
16. Staff payroll costs
17. Pension costs
18. Direct purchase costs
19. Employers national insurance
20. Travel expenses
a. Mileage claims / parking
21. Office refreshments
22. Cleaning consumable for offices
23. Office rent
24. Council rates
a. Business rates
25. Business cards
26. Office utilities
a. Gas / electric / water
27. Mobile phone call costs
28. Refurbishment expenses of office / workplace
29. Travel expenses
30. Business trips
a. Accommodation / meals
And then, as mentioned above, you can split some costs but it’s about being reasonable and having a great paper trail. But also, as with everything, if you get it wrong you must accept it and put it right. This is most applicable for companies with home offices etc.
An example of this is your personal mobile phone which you also use for work. This is perfectly acceptable for all businesses.
For your mobile phone, it comes down to you being strict with proportioning the cost out. If you use the phone for 60% business and 40% personal use, then the 60% of your bill is what you can claim.
You must however keep all invoices / bills and provide evidence of calculations to reach the 60/40 split.
The best thing to do when you’re not sure is to ask your accountant. They know what you can and can’t do. If in doubt, pick up the phone and find out.