It’s not always clear which small business expenses you can claim on your taxes and the best way to go about it. Do you stick with the traditional spreadsheet or try a bookkeeping app?
HMRC has comprehensive guidelines, so we’ve gone into detail about how to claim and the expenses for which you can claim.
How Do I Claim?
HMRC doesn’t require you to store every single receipt - but you have to make sure to keep business-related ones somewhere safe. This is so you can calculate and claim business expenses efficiently and accurately.
Many small business owners take the bookkeeping aspect of their businesses into their own hands, saving money on a costly accountant. Those who do take the reins on their finances must also accurately document expenses if they want to claim back tax. It's best practice to implement a simple way to keep track of them.We’ve gone into detail about each method in this blog.
You don’t need to send evidence of your expenses when you submit your tax return. However, you should keep all your records secure so you can show them to HMRC if asked. When it comes to small business expense tracking, you want to work smarter not harder; that’s why we’ve featured some helpful tips in this blog on how to keep records more organised.
Claiming: Manual vs Digital
When calculating your business expenses, there are two choices: manual and digital. Using a manual process like a spreadsheet is something you’re probably familiar with, but it can be time-consuming, taking your focus away from other important business matters that need your attention.
Manually calculating and claiming expenses might seem the cheaper option, but studies have shown a staggering 88% of spreadsheets contain errors. So you could miss out on claimable expenses and potentially send inaccurate information to HMRC, resulting in some hefty fines.
With mistakes more common than you think in these manual methods, you should look at employing a digital app to do the labour for you. You'll already have a lot to organise when you're running your business, so the last thing you need is a bookkeeping app with complicated features that don’t help - only hinder.
The best part about an app is that your data is stored online and synchronised with your other devices. No more storing receipts in a filing cabinet or hunting down a spreadsheet.
When tax season approaches, you won’t have to worry about features that don’t apply to your business. EasyBooks offers a 14-day free trial with no commitments, with features we designed specifically with your small business in mind. You can claim your free trial below and see for yourself.
What Can I Claim as a Small Business Expense?
Depending on the nature of your business and its ongoing requirements, many expenses can be claimed on your taxes.
Here are some small business expenses which you may claim back (as long as they fall within HMRC’s ‘wholly and exclusively’ rule).
- Office expenses (e.g. phone and broadband bills).
- Travel costs for work travel (e.g. petrol, transport fares).
- Clothing expenses for uniforms or PPE.
- Salaries and subcontractor costs.
- Stock and/or raw materials for resale.
- Financial costs, such as bank or insurance charges.
- Heating and lighting your business premises.
- Rent on business premises and business rates.
- Advertising and marketing costs.
These must be exclusively for business purposes. You can find out more about what expenses are tax deductible for small businesses in this blog.
When it comes to claiming small business expenses on your taxes, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to use the apps available now. Despite manual methods having their drawbacks, you’ll need a simple template to make it easier if you still want to use traditional methods to track expenses.
To help with that, we’ve created a free template to help you conveniently log business expenses.
Use Our Expense Log Template to Keep Up
If you want to track your expenses easily, make sure to download our free expense log template. We’ve put together useful templates that will help you better manage your business, such as profit and loss, cash flow, petty cash and more.
It’s user-friendly and completely free to download. Get your templates by clicking below.