Last week we received good feedback for our article on reducing the tax bill for contractors and self-employed individuals through tax free allowance and not paying your National Insurance once you have reached the retirement age. This is why we want to continue the theme this week and explore other legal and honest ways to reduce your tax bill.
Many contractors and self-employed entrepreneurs start their business from home. Naturally, you are allowed to include a certain proportion of home expenses (electricity, gas, and a percentage of your mortgage or rental cost) as a genuine business expense. There are no hard and fast rules regarding what you can claim as a reasonable deduction as everyone’s arrangements are different. However, the key is to ensure a reasonable argument can be made for the basis for any calculations. For example, it is rather foolish to claim a deduction for 2 to 3 Starbucks coffees per day while you also claim an allowance for being at and working from home 5 to 6 days per week.
Smaller Allowances Add Up
There are many smaller allowances which go unclaimed but they can add up and benefit your overall tax bill. Two examples are deductions for eye test and the approved schemes for using a bicycle as your mode of transport. Another one is claiming millage when you use your car, motorcycle or bicycle on company business. 45p, 25p and 20p are the maximum rates per mile that companies can pay or business owners can recoup without tax being paid for the use of one’s own car, motorcycle or bicycle. One exception to this is that National Insurance arises if you exceed a certain number of annual business miles per annum, but realistically this will not be reached unless you are a full time sales rep on the road.
It is also important to note that the Tax Authorities can be particularly picky regarding the distinction between business and personal millage when using your own vehicle for both. It is therefore advisable to keep a mileage log that records of all business journeys taken, then they can be clearly differentiated from miles driven for personal purposes.
At Tax Agility, we always strive to give the best tax advice that is unique to your circumstances. This is why we always offer our first consultation for free to allow us to learn about your business and your personal financial circumstances, so we can create a tax accounting solution that is as unique as you.
Call us now at 020 8780 2349 or complete the enquiry form and we will call you back.