Business Expenses You Can Claim on Your Income Tax Return

Did you know that self-employed individuals can get tax relief on business expenses paid by them to help earn a profit?  In order for an expense to be regarded as business related, it must be directly relate to the running of the business. Where expenses relates to both business and private use, only that of the business are allowed.  In this case, the expenses need to be apportioned to allow for the business use and disallow for the private use.

To claim relief for business expenses, all you need to do is keep all of your receipts and invoices for a period for six years.(We recommend setting aside a folder just for this.) Records to keep on file include bank statements, cheque books, invoices, cashbooks and receipts for all purchases.

Below we have outlined 4 categories of business expenses many self – employed people forget or do not realise they can claim relief for.

self employed business expenses

4 categories of business expenses that self-employed persons can claim tax relief for:

Work Space

Renting out vital office space is considered an allowable expense.  Utility bills such as heating, lighting, telephone and internet are also allowable as well as the cost of insuring the business premises and the contents.

If you work from home, these expenses are still allowable to the extent of the business use only.


If you are using your car for business purposes, you can claim tax relief for the running expenses.  This would include costs such as:

• Motor tax

• Insurance

• Service

•  Tyres

• Drivers licence

•  NCT

• Any repairs that needs to be carried out.

Professional Services

If you use the services of an accountant or financial advisor to compile a set of accounts and also to file income tax returns for your business, this is another allowable expense you can claim tax relief upon. Similarly, you can claim tax relief if availing of the services of:

• Business consultants

• Training providers

• Legal agents

• Auditors

•  Marketing agencies

Wear & Tear

Items of a capital nature are tax deductible in the form of capital allowances.  Examples of these would include office equipment such as computers, printers, copiers, fax machines etc.   It also includes machinery and cars.  Tax relief is spread over an 8 year period.

We hope this post helps you better understand what business expenses you can claim on your income tax return. For more information on this topic and more, browse our previous articles or contact our expert team today at Tax Return Plus on 059 8673894.