Freelance Writing and Business Expenses

A guest blog from a former copywriter

If you’re a freelance copywriter there are going to be certain costs you incur from carrying out your daily business. These sorts of things can usually be claimed as a business expense when you’re doing your accounts in the future. This means, if you’re diligent, you could end up claiming back a decent bit of cash. Times are tough at the moment and so everything helps. Most of us know about claiming for things like stationery, so here’s are a few more examples of things you should be claiming.

Travel Expenses

Unsurprisingly, you can claim back costs for business travel. This includes anything that is solely related to work. So, for example, a drive into town to meet some clients is fine, while a trip to the shop for milk during your work day isn’t. It’s fairly common sense in the end, but how much can you claim?

Well, for a car or van, for your first 10,000 miles it is 45p per mile and then 25p thereafter. If you’re on a motorbike it’s 24p no matter how many miles. You can even claim on your bike as well which comes in at a straight 20p. So, if you’re often out and about on business, make sure you’re keeping track of your mileage.

Accommodation

You can also get money back on the costs you pay on accommodation if you use your home as your office. For example, if you have a spare room that’s used just for work you can claim back money on your rent or mortgage payments. Here’s how to work it out.

Say you have own a 100 square metre flat and pay £1,000 a month on it. If a quarter of your place is used for your business then you can charge your company £250 and claim it back later. If you don’t have a dedicated room you just have to figure out the rooms percentage of use, i.e. if you used it for business 50% of the time you would be able to charge £125 instead.

Eye Tests

Chances are, as a writer in this day and age, you spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen. As you might know this has the potential to be quite harmful for your eyes. Eventually it could cause your eyes to deteriorate to the point of needed glasses. Luckily, you can get an eye test and then claim the cost back.  Very helpful for keeping track of your eyesight so you can fix things before it’s too late.

This isn’t everything of course and we recommend you speak to your accountant to make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to.  The government don’t exactly have a steadfast list of what is allowed and what isn’t, but if it costs you money and you need it for your work, chances are you’ll be able to claim. So, keep receipts and track of what you spend. Also keep in mind that HMRC can come back to you up to 6 years after an expense claim is made. Make sure you don’t chuck out your papers out after your Self Assessment is all finished at the end of the year.

 

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