For more information on self-employed expenses you may also find these pages useful:
- Self-employed expenses: what you can and cannot claim
- Claiming expenses if you are self-employed
- Claiming expenses as a sole trader
Whether you are keeping costs down, just starting out or simply like the thought of a commute that involves strolling downstairs, many self-employed workers choose to work from home.
One of the most common questions we receive from those that work from home, is what expenses can I claim if I am self-employed and work from home?
An expense is a cost that is solely and exclusively for the running of your business, and so many of the extra costs incurred from working at home could be classed as business expenses.
For more information take a look at our guide to what expenses you can claim if you are working from home.
You might be able to claim the proportion of your home broadband costs that have been used for business. To calculate the amount that could be expensed you will need to work out the percentage of use that is for business and apply this amount to the overall cost.
If working from home requires you to upgrade your broadband to a faster package then this cost could be claimed as an expense.
A proportion of your council tax could be claimed as a business expense. The amount that could be claimed is based on the number of rooms in your house, the number of rooms that are used for work and the time spent using the rooms for work purposes.
Mortgage and Rent
Mortgage repayment costs cannot be claimed as an expense as this is classed by HM Revenue & Customs as a domestic expense, which is a cost that you would be paying regardless of whether you are working from home or not.
Although your mortgage repayments are not able to be claimed as a business expense, you might be entitled to claim your mortgage interest.
If you are renting your home then a proportion of your rent could be claimed as a business expense.
When working from home keeping in contact with clients is essential and so your phone bill is likely to go sky high. As a sole trader you could claim the proportion of your phone bill and line rental that has been used for business calls as an expense.
If working from home requires you to upgrade your phone package then the extra cost incurred could also be claimed as a business expense.
Through working from home you will have to print out many more documents than you would normally. This will increase your ink and paper costs. As you are using your printer ink for both business and personal use, if you are able to calculate the proportion of the cost that has been used for business you might be able to claim this amount as an expense.
If you need to repair your property you could be able to claim some of the cost as a business expense. This is only the case when the repairs include the area of your house that is used for business.
For example, if the cost of repairing your office space is £100 and you use this area for work 50% of the time, £50 of repair costs could be claimed as an expense.
If the repairs are for your whole property you might be able to expense a proportion of the cost. This amount is again based on the number of rooms in your house, the number of rooms used for business and the percentage of time that those rooms are used for work.
If the repairs are being carried out on an area of your property, which you do not use for business then you will be unable to claim any of the costs.
Some of your business related stationery costs such as business cards, paper, envelopes, pens, pencils and so on might be able to be claimed as an expense.
If you are working from home then you will be using more electricity, gas and water than if you were working elsewhere.
These extra costs could be claimed as either a flat rate of £4 per week or through calculating the proportion of the total costs that has been used for business. The amount that may be claimed is based on the number of rooms in your house, the number of rooms that are for business use and the time spent using those rooms for work.
It is always a good idea to talk to your accountant about all of your expenses to ensure that they are legitimate claims.
To find out more about what expenses you are entitled to claim you may find the pages below helpful: