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In the trades services industry, a lot of people ask, ‘Can I claim a van on my tax return?”
This is really a question about expenses. As a member of the self-employed workforce, you’re able to deduct your business expenses when you calculate your tax bill. It helps to reduce the tax you pay on your income. As you’re in charge of declaring your untaxed income to HMRC and paying it every tax year, it’s also in your hands to manage your business versus personal expenses.
As you might guess, business expenses are the things that you spend for your business. That could be something like any specialised clothes, uniform or your tools. A personal expense, in comparison, would be something like clothes that you buy to wear outside of work or dinner that you buy at a restaurant.
We recommend opening a business account (or a personal bank account that you use for your business spending) to keep all of your finances separate and organised.
There are two answers to this question.
When it comes to recording your expenses, you should do this throughout the tax year – from 6th April to 5th April. It’s important that you have evidence of your spending that you can present to HMRC when you do your tax return.
You deduct your expenses from your earnings when you calculate your tax bill. And this is done annually. If you need a hand with the calculation (which surely we all do?) take a look at our calculator below.
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:
In your case when you earn £50,000:
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
No contributions on the first £9,568 that you make
You pay £3,549 in contributions (at 9%) on the next £39,432 that you make
You pay £159 in NI Class 2 contributions
Yes, you can. But not always in the same way.
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