Can I expense gym fees?

Jordan Macey

April 21, 2021

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Small Business Accounting

As a sole trader, you can’t claim for gym membership fees.

As a limited company director, you can claim for gym membership via your company. A benefit in kind (BIK) charge will arise against the employee, and the company will need to pay Class 1A NICs on the total cost of the membership.

For further information on allowable business expenses, refer to our expenses and allowances guides for limited company directors and the self-employed.

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Can I expense Parties (or staff entertainment)?

As a limited company director, you can can claim for the costs of hosting a staff party, as long as the following conditions apply:

  • Your cost per pax shouldn't exceed £150 (including VAT). Your employees may invite a partner, and if they do, your total budget for an employee and an additional guest will be £300.
  • The main purpose of the event is to entertain your staff members. As such, most of the event attendees should be your employees.

Do note that the per pax budget of £150 applies across the year, so you can claim for several staff events as long as the costs fall within the budget. You can claim this expense even if you're the sole employee in your business.

As a sole trader, you're not considered an employee. As such, you can't claim the costs unless you have employees.

For further information on allowable business expenses, refer to our expenses and allowances guides for limited company directors and the self-employed.

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Can I expense Charitable Donations?

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Can I expense Alternative finance payments?

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Can I expense Business gifts?

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What is the 24 Month Rule for Directors Expenses?

The 24-month rule, also referred to as the two-year rule, enables contractors to claim travel expenses from their home to a client's office, as long as it is classed as a "temporary workplace".

The following conditions must apply for a work location to be classed as a "temporary workplace"

  • The period of engagement is less than 24 months
  • The contractor should spend less than 40 percent of their time at the workplace

Essentially, if you work at the client's office for more than 24 months, or spend more than 40 percent of your time at the location, it is considered a permanent workplace-and as such, you won't be able to claim travel or subsistence expenses.

Bear in mind that this is subject to the SDC legislation introduced in April 2016. Further elaboration on SDC can be found in our guide to claiming expenses as an umbrella company contractor.

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Can I expense a Car or Motor vehicle purchase?

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Can I expense Utilities?

If you're renting an office, you can claim utilities as a deductible expense.

If you're using your home as an office, you'll need to work out the proportion of your utilities that you can allocate to business use in order to claim these costs as a deductible expense.

For further information on allowable business expenses, refer to our expenses and allowances guides for limited company directors and the self-employed.

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How to claim for business mileage

Being self-employed often means having to juggle multiple roles and tasks.

Amidst all your different responsibilities, keeping track of your business mileage can appear tedious-and it can easily become a task that you postpone time and time again. Yet, these little trips can add up, and as a small business owner, it's important that you make the most of what you can claim.

If you're newly self-employed, or just want to get a grasp on the basics of claiming your business mileage, this article is for you.

It explains the essentials, including how you can calculate your costs, the records you need to keep, and other important information that you need to be aware of.

Both business owners and employees can claim business mileage.

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Can I expense Stationery?

Yes, you can claim office costs (such as the purchase of stationery) as a deductible expense.

For further information on allowable business expenses, refer to our expenses and allowances guides for limited company directors and the self-employed.

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Can I claim expenses before my company was formed?

Yes. You can claim pre-trading expenses of up to seven years before the incorporation date of your limited company, as long as these expenses have been paid for with your own money and were incurred ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily' for setting up your business.

Examples of pre-trading expenses you can claim for include:

  • Internet and domain name fees
  • Purchase of computer equipment and software
  • Accountancy and other professional fees
  • Travel costs
  • Insurance
  • Stationery

To learn more about allowable business expenses, read our expenses and tax allowances guide for limited company directors.

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What are the HMRC approved mileage rates?

The HMRC approved mileage rates are as follows:

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Can I expense Software?

You can claim the costs of purchasing computer software that your business uses for less than two years. You can also claim for computer software that you use for more than two years, if your company makes payments regularly to renew the license.

For further information on allowable business expenses, refer to our expenses and allowances guides for limited company directors and the self-employed.

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Can I expense my Self Assessment fees?

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Can I expense Health / medical check?

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Can I expense Fixtures and fittings cost?

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Can I expense Business Rates?

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Can I expense Accountancy fees?

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Can I expense Home Rental?

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Claiming mobile phone expenses when self employed

"Can I claim my smartphone as an expense?" is a simple, but a common question for first-time contractors.

That's because HMRC's expenses rules can be confusing, and while you want to be sure that you're running your business as tax-efficiently as possible, it's just as important to be in the good books of HMRC.

We've put together a short guide so you can get a quick overview of the basics. If there are any areas you're unsure about, you may check in with our accountants at Forma so you can be sure that you're claiming your limited company expenses correctly.

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Self employed advisory fuel rates guide

Advisory fuel rates are recommended repayment amounts a company can use when reclaiming the fuel element on business mileage.

The rates are used to calculate:

  • How much employers should reimburse employees for business travel using the company car
  • How much employees need to repay employers for private travel using the company car
  • The VAT you can claim back on business mileage using your personal vehicle
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