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Niche freelancer expenses you didn’t know existed

  • 3 min read
  • 21 Jul 2023
niche freelancer expenses

Are your niche expenses outweighing the perks of being a freelancer? Then listen up.👂  

Too many of you freelancers are not making the most of your deductible expenses – don’t think we haven’t noticed! 

We get it, HMRC’s expense rules are pretty cryptic (shock!). But, you have us to decrypt it for you, and give you the inside scoop. 😉

First, what are expenses?

Expenses are costs incurred in relation to your business which can minimise the tax you pay. 

If you’re a freelancer (or anyone earning money) then all of the income you earn above the personal allowance, £12,570, is taxable. 

But, HMRC will not tax you on money you’ve spent to run your business. Woohoo! 

This means you can deduct expenses from your income when figuring out how much tax you might owe. 

So, if you’re a freelancer, your expenses could include: 

  • Home expenses: 

Internet, telephone, gas, water, and electricity bills. All the tools you need for the perfect cuppa.🤭

  • Business meetings:

Yep, that includes the cheeky Nandos you took your client for. 

  • Stationery:

Pens, pencils, paper, and ink are all reasonable requests. Even those pastel Post-it notes you totally needed. 😚

Just remember, your expenses must be exclusive to your line of work!

What exactly is a freelancer?

A freelancer is someone who is self-employed; typically earning an income on a per-job or per-task basis. 

Freelancers generally, but not always, work in creative, service, or skilled sectors. 🧑‍🌾

Still confused? Here are a few examples:

  • 🎥Videographers
  • 👩‍🏫Tutors
  • 🪴 Landscapers

But, what if I have a ‘niche’ job? 

There are all sorts of jobs, and whilst you might think that yours is too ‘niche’, it truly is in the eye of the beholder. 

Here are some examples of ‘niche’ jobs that we’ve done tax returns for and some of the expenses they claimed: 

Content creators 

Creating content requires apps, software, hardware, and lots of technology and other bits we wouldn’t usually think of. Here are some types of content creators:

  • Video game streamers 🎮
  • Instagram influencers 
  • Wedding photographers 
  • Only Fans creators
  • Rita Ora’s videographer (yep, you read that correctly)


When you think of services, you might think of a maths tutor, cleaner, or landscaper. But the list doesn’t end there…


  • A chicken genderer (seriously! cluck cluck)
  • Religious script translator
  • Massage parlour for dogs
  • Mercenary 👀

And even more…

Just when you thought we were done, here are some more careers worth a mention:

  • Food critics 
  • Humanitarian workers 
  • CBD testers 🍃
  • Roblox contributors 
  • Pampas Grass online retailers 
  • Alcohol brand ambassadors

These are all people who have come to us to take away the stress that comes with being self-employed. 

(Side note, congratulations for being your own boss! We know it’s not always easy.👏)

If you’re still unsure, or just a bit nosey, you can check out our blog on self-employed trades you didn’t know existed. 👃

So, what’s the scoop? 

Now you know what a freelancer is, and you’ve maybe found some new job inspiration, we’re going to tell you the most ‘niche’ freelance expenses we’ve seen. 

We’ve come across some intriguing ‘niche’ expenses in our time, so let’s get exploring!

The most ‘niche’ freelancer expense claims 👀:

  1. We’ve had expense claims for nails, high heels, sex toys, costumes, and even breast implants from exotic performers.
  2. Check out the Daniels vs. HMRC case for more on self-employed exotic dancers!
  3. A Tesla… vroom vroom
  4. 3D printers
  5. Alpacas 🦙
  6. Massages and gym memberships

Gym memberships are pretty common these days, and as long as you can prove your membership is a business expense then it’s tax-deductible. 

We’ve got more on when you can deduct a gym membership if you’re curious. 

But, is it worth my time claiming expenses?

Yes! Claim the expenses you’re eligible for, and you’ll minimise your tax bill. 

A lot of people have started to work for themselves. But, many don’t know all the rules when it comes to tax, claiming expenses, allowances, and more. 

Trust us, bringing your tax bill down legally is possible when you know what you’re doing which is why we’re here to help!

If you want to figure out how much tax you’ll owe before claiming expenses, then you can use our handy Income Tax calculator below.

Your situation

Outlined number oneImage of an arrow
I am
Annual self-employed income
Self-employed expenses

Tax and profit

Outlined number two
  • Total earnings
    £1,000 tax-free Trading Allowance
  • Tax to pay
    £7,286 income tax
    £0 class 2 National Insurance
    £2,186 class 4 National Insurance
  • What you’re left with

How your income tax is calculated

When you’re self-employed, you have to pay your income tax and national insurance contributions yourself in your annual Self Assessment. Our calculator helps you quickly assess how much you owe.

However you may be eligible for a tax refund when:

  1. You already made tax payments for the year but your annual income ended up less than planned
  2. You have done things that qualify for a tax relief (made private pension contributions, given to charity, etc.)

In your case when you earn £50,000:

Income tax breakdown

You pay no income tax on first £12,570 that you make

You pay £7,286 at basic income tax rate (20%) on the next £36,430

National insurance contributions breakdown

No contributions on the first £12,570 that you make

You pay £2,186 in contributions (at 6%) on the next £36,430 that you make

You pay £0 in NI Class 2 contributions

Tax bill amount £9,472
I want to pay by
Savings frequency

You need to save

£14.22 per day

to pay your £9,471.56 tax bill by 31/1/2026 which is in 666 days

Now you know the scoop. 

Yes, Bob the Builder can expense a hard hat. No, he can’t expense false nails. 💅
But, sometimes it’s not as simple as that. So, if you’re looking for even more information on expenses, don’t worry, we’ve got you. Here are some extra tips and tricks to help you understand how to claim expenses.

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