Detailed List of Tax Allowable Expenses

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Allowable Revenue Expenditure

Please note that allowable revenue expenditure you incur up to seven years prior to the commencement of your freelancing is deductible from your profits in your first accounting period.

The Inspector of Taxes (HMRC) will allow revenue expenditure as a deduction from your freelance income when it is incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of your profession. The following is a list of the expenditure which HMRC will normally allow:-

  1. Accountants Fees including bookkeeping fees.
  2. Advertising, publicity, brochures, photographs, business cards and flyers.
  3. Agents commission and complimentary tickets.
  4. Auditions, competition, festival entry fees.
  5. Bad debts (included in turnover).
  6. Bank charges (contact us to obtain free banking), bank interest, credit card interest and foreign exchange.
  7. Books not retained for more than two years and library fees.
  8. Bulbs, fuses, locks, keys, plugs, cables, adaptors and minor repairs.
  9. Computer consumables including USB memory sticks, external hard drives (back up), software annual licence fee, tuition, repairs and service.
  10. Coaching and rehearsals for engagements in hand.
  11. Courses to maintain, update and develop existing skills are allowable however courses for the acquisition of new expertise is not allowable (i.e. would be a capital expense).
  12. Data protection registration and renewal fees.
  13. Dental work beyond normal needs of health.
  14. Deputies and accompanists (exclude deputies for an employment).
  15. Dresswear
    1. Hire of professional dresswear.
    2. Laundering and dry cleaning of professional dresswear.
    3. Replacement cost of professional dresswear.
    4. Specific gig dresswear (at the behest of TV/ stage producer)
    5. Repair
  16. Fees paid to colleagues where the engager has paid their fees via you (your freelance income will include the gross fee).
  17. Heat and light - calculate business use on area occupied.
  18. Hire
    1. Business asset.
    2. Rehearsal studio, performance venue or tutor.
    3. Tapes/ DVDs
    4. Lighting, stands, scores etc
  19. Hotel accommodation on tour.
  20. Instruments
    1. Insurance including part or contents policy, if appropriate.
    2. Overhauling, tuning, repairs and maintenance.
    3. Removal to another property.
    4. Strings or reeds, resin for bows and other instrument components.
  21. Insurance including office and business property policies.
  22. Interest payable on a business loan. Also the incidental costs of raising that loan are allowable. (Careful as there are special rules if you use the “Cash Basis”).
  23. Journals and catalogues.
  24. Legal costs including fee recovery and to fix contracts.
  25. Manuscript paper and nibs.
  26. Medical
    1. Alternative remedies including shiatsu, acupuncture etc
    2. Chiropody.
    3. Throat spray and lozenges.
    4. Treatment for specific business purpose (no dual purpose) including osteopathy, physiotherapy.
  27. Microfilming and printing up rare music including digital archiving.
  28. Miscellaneous expenses - give a full description of each item and state why you are claiming it.
  29. Motoring expenses (include motor cycle and/ or car), you must keep a log of the total and business mileage for each vehicle so that the business element can be calculated:-
    1. Breakdown subscription/ insurance.
    2. Car hire, petrol allowance to colleague(s).
    3. Car repairs, servicing, MOT, oils, antifreeze.
    4. Motor insurance.
    5. Parking at engagements, tolls and ferries.
    6. Petrol.
    7. Road fund licence.
    8. You can alternatively claim an amount per business mile (encompassing all motoring expenses and capital allowances) - ask us for the current amount.
  30. Music for pupils, music for current engagements which you will not retain for more than two years.
  31. Newspapers and Music Reports (only to read reviews or seek work).
  32. Orchestration, programme note writer, translational diary service.
  33. Page turners.
  34. Own property/studio - calculate business percentage on floor area:-
    1. Cleaning.
    2. Insurance.
    3. Redecorating studio
    4. Repairs and maintenance.
  35. Photocopying and score binding.
  36. Porterage, carriage, Securicor, removals
  37. Postage.
  38. Private pupils exam fees and prizes.
    1. Exam fees and prizes.
    2. Instruments and accessories.
    3. Pupils incentives
    4. Cost of concerts for pupils’ parents.
    5. Stage props.
    6. Refunds to pupils.
  39. Recording equipment.
    1. Batteries
    2. CDs/ DVD for rehearsal and tutoring
    3. Demo discs/ tapes including cost of engineer to record them.
    4. Memory cards.
    5. Style and maintenance of hi-fi.
    6. Headphones
    7. Repair of CD and DVD player.
  40. CDs/ DVDs/ Digital downloads not retained for more than two years..
  41. Rent and rates of premises - calculate business percentage on floor area basis. Any premiums paid to a landlord are allowable if treated as a property business receipt by the landlord.
  42. Replace tour luggage and toiletries.
  43. Residential music festivals and conferences, diurnal seminars.
  44. Research assistance and material.
  45. Royalties to PRS.
  46. Secretarial assistance including payments to spouse/ partner at the market rate for the work provided - to be paid through PAYE/RTI system. (Please contact us if you intend to pay someone this way).
  47. Software for your computer, web domain, registration and hosting fees.
  48. Stage appearance.
    1. Contact lenses and spectacles, maintenance insurance thereof (you must have second set of lenses or spectacles that you use outside work).
    2. Fitness costs if relate specifically to role.
    3. Hairdressing, cosmetics, beautician.
    4. Make up and remover.
  49. Staff welfare including first aid, beverages and Christmas party.
  50. Stationery and printing including inkjet cartridges and toner, diary, waste bin and shredder.
  51. Subscriptions to professional bodies.
  52. Subsistence - you are allowed to claim the cost of all your meals when on overseas engagements. If you are overseas for more than 60 days for business, the expense of a journey made by your spouse/civil partner/child is also allowed but limited to two return journeys for each tax year.
  53. Television - if much of your work is on stage:-
    1. Licence fee.
    2. Rental.
    3. Repair.
  54. Telephone:-
    1. Land line - request call transaction listing from the line provider to calculate business amounts.
    2. Internet connection.
    3. Mobile.
    4. Coin box calls and overseas.
    5. Accessories
  55. Tips including tips to dressers, call boys, stage doorkeepers.
  56. Travel:-
    1. Bicycle repairs and maintenance, consumables and insurance - calculate the business use on a mileage basis.
    2. Fares to the engager.
    3. Fares to other than engager, e.g. music shops, libraries, auditions, festivals, conference.
    4. Inoculations.
    5. Travel cancellation fees.
    6. Travel insurance.
    7. Visas.
    8. Excess baggage fees.
    9. Maps, guides, timetables.
    10. Passport extras.
  57. Visits to cinemas, concerts, opera, theatre, but only the cost of the ticket and only if akin to your repertoire, or to hear own pupils.
  58. Wages and salaries - to be paid through PAYE/RTI system.
  59. Wardrobe expenses - replacement and renewal of existing items (including shoes and towels) and props.
  60. Warranties e.g. PCs.
  61. Website design and maintenance, domain fee and cyber-cafes.
  62. Website maintenance, domain fee and cyber-cafes. Also updating is a revenue expense but the design of a website that will directly generate subscriptions etc may be capital expenditure on which you can claim capital allowances.

Capital Expenditure

A deduction from your taxable income can be made in respect of your expenditure on 'Fixed Assets' namely the movable tangibles likely to last over two years that are used in your business. The following are some examples:-

  1. Anglepoise lamp, dedicated lighting.
  2. Bicycle.
  3. Books including music reference books.
  4. Camera, projector, screen.
  5. Carrying case.
  6. Computer, tablet and printer.
  7. Fax machine.
  8. Instrument and associated equipment.
  9. Know how.
  10. Legal costs on purchase of property.
  11. Metronome.
  12. Motorcycle.
  13. Motor vehicle including car and van.
  14. Music shelving.
  15. Music stand.
  16. Office furnishings including carpets and curtains.
  17. Office furniture including desk, chair, filing cabinet and bookcase.
  18. Piano stool/ seating for playing instrument.
  19. Photocopier.
  20. Plant and machinery (equipment).
  21. Property.
  22. Recording and playing equipment including television (if much of your work is on stage), DVD hi-fi and music centre.
  23. Records, CDs/ DVDs.
  24. Research and development.
  25. Scores and enduring music (lasts over two years).
  26. Telephone including mobile phone.

Click here Guide to Capital Allowances Regime.

Remember that when you commence your business that you can claim capital allowances on the 'Fixed Assets' which you have introduced to the business even if you purchased an item several years before you commenced your business.

Click here to email Tim Dauncey for further information or if you would like to ask him a question.

This material provides only an overview of the regulations in force and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.