Eventually, as your business grows, to achieve long term sustainability, reaching out to wider customer bases and travel abroad becomes a business objective. This is not necessarily confined to medium and large sized enterprises. Even sole-traders and freelancers might need to invest in business travel. Travel abroad can bring some significant expenses to your business and impact cash-flow and profits if you do not understand what counts as acceptable business travel expenses.
Can I claim?
Yes, within limits.
H.M.R.C. is concerned with asking that you contribute your ‘reasonable’ share of profits, rather than taking the business suit from off your back, so no matter how difficult it might seem to keep up healthy profits with the taxes you are subject to, business viability and growth of U.K. businesses is also a key part of any government policy.
With this in mind, it is worth knowing that you can indeed claim relief for expenses incurred from business related travel. If the journey was primarily for business and any private use occurred incidentally you will be able to claim full relief.
On the other hand, if there were mixed purposes for travelling you must able to separate the business expenditure from the private; you cannot claim where your intention for travelling was to meet social and recreational purposes.
You will find the ‘other travel-related expenses’ in the ‘Travel’ part of your SimpleTax Self-Employed expenses.
Legitimate travel expenses range from: car hire, associated fuel expenses, train, coach and air fares. Accommodation and subsistence and even special equipment. If you check H.M.R.C.’s website to find out what you are eligible to deduct as reasonable expenses, you would be forgiven for thinking that they geared much of their advice to the employee, rather than the freelancer and sole-trader seeking to build a business.
What is deemed reasonable is difficult to unearth and is time-consuming. Frankly, self-assessment can become a mine-field, where treading new territory can make you afraid you may shoot yourself in the foot when out hunting ‘big game’, if you’ll pardon our mixed metaphors, but you see what we are saying.
SimpleTax is geared to making your travel expenses claims a cruise… Simple questions guide you through the mean streets of the tax return.
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