While the nation’s attention is currently fixed on the work of our carers and hospital workers, little thought is paid to those that are self-employed and still need to submit their tax returns.
Of course, it’s sometimes tough to determine what counts as a deductible expense and what doesn’t. That’s why we’ve asked Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax to provide a guide to tax claims for the self-employed.
What clothing expenses can your clients claim for?
Uniforms are costly. And whilst your clients operate as a self-employed individual, they may also represent certain authorities when caring for patients or vulnerable people. As a result, they may be expected to purchase a uniform or their own PPE.
Fortunately, your clients able to claim for it as an allowable business expense. Provided that what they are purchasing is either a uniform or necessary protective clothing needed for their work, they will qualify for tax relief.
What’s more, if your clients need to purchase any additional PPE for their role (say, gloves and face masks), this is also considered an allowable expense.
Are there any other expenses my clients may be eligible for?
It largely depends on their specific role within healthcare. If they operate as a consultant, for example, it may be that they must be a member of a professional organisation in order to practise in their field. That’s why subscription fees are often eligible for tax relief.
HMRC have a list of approved organisations and learned societies to help you determine whether your clients can claim or not. Whilst this list is aimed at employees, it does give a good, broad view of the subscriptions you can claim as an expense on your tax return.
If your client is a carer, it may be that they are required to drive between the houses of vulnerable clients. Petrol expenses add up – so, as long as they are driving for work purposes, they can claim some travel costs in their Self Assessment tax return. This extends to public transport and parking, which is especially useful if they are travelling to hospitals.
How can I claim my clients expenses?
Firstly, be sure they are registered for Self Assessment. If they have not done this before, they will be sent a letter following your registration with a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. With this, they can set up an account for the Self Assessment online service. However, the process takes approximately 10 working days. Factor that in ahead of the Self Assessment tax return deadline.
Currently, Self Assessment tax returns can be submitted to HMRC via post, HMRC’s online portal, or using tax return software. By filing online or using tax return software, you’ll effectively be giving yourself an additional three months’ extension as the online submission deadline is 31st January (as opposed to 31st October of the previous year for postal submission).
If your client is new to Self Assessments, they claim for tax relief by adding up their total allowable expenditure and including this figure on their tax return. Be sure to keep a hold of all receipts as they can act as evidence should HMRC require it. Of course, parking and clothing receipts are some of the easiest items to lose. This is why it’s important that you pay careful attention to how you store and log them, otherwise you run the risk of an unnecessarily higher tax bill.
With GoSimpleTax, you can prevent all those receipts from piling up and adding stress to the Self Assessment tax return process for your client.
Instead of sifting through paper, their full service allows you to take photos of any invoices or receipts and log them immediately from your mobile device.
With easy access to multiple client tax returns and volume discounts on multiple returns – take your free trial now to see how GoSimpleTax can benefit your practice and to claim your 25% discount.