When it comes to completing your own self assessment tax return in January, your main concerns are probably “am I doing it right?” and “will I get it done in time?” At Ridgefield Consulting, we can do your whole return and alleviate those worries by completing it both correctly and accurately, as well as within 48 hours of us receiving all necessary information.
Part of getting it done right is making sure you don’t pay too much tax. If you’re doing it yourself and are looking for ways to reduce tax on your self assessment tax return, here are our 5 top tips:
1. Claim travel expenses if you can.
Not every self-employed person will be eligible to do this. Only those who work from home can claim back the costs of travelling to visit clients, customers or other third parties. Do make sure to keep records of mileage when doing this. You can also add car breakdown cover against your tax bill!
2. Reduce your self assessment tax return bill by taking out a portion of your utility bills.
Again, this will only apply to those who work from home such as freelancers. Electricity, gas, telephone and broadband bills can all be claimed if you use your home as your office. However, it is important to note you won’t be able to claim back the costs of those bills in their entirety. Only a reasonable portion which has been used for business purposes can be offset against your final tax return.
3. Claim a rebate on your uniform.
Although “uniform” is defined broadly, it won’t include the general clothes you wear to work or to see clients. If you do have specific items of clothing that you must wear for your work, such as a top with logo or safety boots, then the costs of buying, cleaning, and replacing them can be claimed back as tax relief.
4. Deduct costs for subscriptions and professional memberships.
For example, if you are a researcher, you may have subscriptions to trade journals in order to keep up to date with the latest discoveries. Or if you are an architect, you may have a professional membership to RIBA which grants you added status amongst some competitors. So long as you can justify these costs as necessary for your work you will be able to make a claim against them in your self assessment tax return.
5. Last, but not least, do not forget that you can reclaim on any charitable donations.
Charitable donations are not limited to those well known organisations such as Cancer Research, RSPCA, Red Cross etc, but also include annual memberships to bodies such as the National Trust or English Heritage. Even a visit to most zoos will be seen as a charitable donation so keep those receipts! Finally, if you have signed a Gift Aid declaration you boost your charitable donation by allowing the charity to reclaim the basic-rate tax, but at the same time, if you are a high-rate taxpayer, you can reclaim the rest of the tax paid on your donation by including it on your self assessment tax return.
If you would like any help with your self assessment tax return, you can contact us at any time. For more details of our service, you can see our self assessment tax return page.