Claiming for use of office and related costs

The self-employed are often concerned regarding expenses they can claim. In this article, we will briefly look at the rules for claiming expenses relating to office, property and equipment. You cannot claim for any non-business use of premises, phones or other office equipment.

As a general rule, you can claim for items you’d normally use for less than 2 years as allowable expenses such as stationery and other office sundries as well as rent, rates, power and insurance costs.

HMRC lists the following office expenses which can be claimed:

  • 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)

Planning note

You can also claim the applicable part of rent, rates, power and insurance costs for any part of your home used as an office.

Equipment you buy to use in your business that you would expect to last for more than 2 years e.g. computers are treated as allowable expenses, if you use cash basis accounting or you can claim capital allowances if you use traditional accounting.