What self employed expenses can you claim if you work from home?

Lily Smith
20 December, 2019 · 4 min read

Working from home gives you the flexibility and freedom to do business on your own terms — and if you’re really lucky, sometimes the opportunity to wear pajamas all day.

You can also claim some household costs back as expenses, which will save you money on your tax bill. Here's a guide to some of the charges you can recoup (spoiler alert: pajamas aren’t included, sadly).

Save yourself some tax

If you work from home, you can claim back some of your household costs as business expenses. Which means you’ll save money on your annual tax bill – cha-ching!

But you need to be careful about what you claim, because only certain expenses are relevant. After all, you’d still be living in your house whether you work there or not, so you can’t claim every living expense as a business one.

Working out what you can and can’t expense if you work from home can be a bit confusing. But with good financial records, and a bit of arithmetic you could save your business a decent chunk of change.

Claiming household expenses

HMRC allows you to deduct two types of household expenses if you work from home: fixed costs and running costs. But it’s important to note, you can only claim for a proportion of these expenses.

You might be able to claim a proportion of your fixed costs for things like:

  • Rent
  • The interest on your mortgage (you cannot, however, deduct part of the capital repayments)
  • Council Tax
  • Building insurance (unless you have separate insurance for your business, in which case you can deduct the full cost)

You could also claim a proportion of your running costs for expenses including:

  • Heating, lighting and electricity
  • Water and sewerage
  • Phone and broadband
  • Property repairs and maintenance

Once you’ve calculated how much you can claim on your fixed and running costs, you can deduct this from your income to work out your taxable profit.

Claiming the tools of your trade

Now we’ve covered the nuts and bolts of your home office expenses, what about office supplies, property and even equipment? Good news — they’re deductible too!

HMRC allows you to claim for typical office expenses like these:

  • phone, mobile, fax and internet bills
  • postage
  • stationery
  • printing
  • printer ink and cartridges
  • computer software your business uses for less than 2 years
  • computer software if your business makes regular payments to renew the licence (even if you use it for more than 2 years)

Finally, you can also claim for office equipment you keep at home and use in your business — like computers, or printers.

Did you know?

Eye eye — if you use your computer for work, you can claim your eye test as an expense.

Read all about it

Now you know exactly what expenses you can claim, how do you calculate your costs?

Get the low down

About the author

Lily Smith is a National Film and Television School trained writer, currently freelancing at ANNA Money. She’s collaborated with remarkable, inspiring people and together they've won Gold Lions, D&ADs, and secured $9M in Google Ventures funding.

Read more of Lily's writing
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