Top 5 Business Expenses That Employers Ignore
When it comes to filling out your tax returns it is worth knowing about any tax deductible business expenses you can reclaim. This post will show a few of the expenses that you may not have been aware of.
Work related costs to your employees, for which they are not reimbursed, can be deductibles. This includes costs incurred by use of mobile phones for business purposes, dues to unions or professional societies, passports for business trips, uniforms or business dress, subscriptions to magazines or periodicals relating to your line of business and so on… Any cost to an employee which is directly relates to your business turning a profit can potentially become a business expense. If you are unsure check with your accountant, they will offer tax advice as part of their accounting services.
Rent and utilities bills (heat, light, water rates) are tax deductible. Maintenance of your premises can also be claimed as a business expense, this includes repairs and insurance. Be aware though that premises costs do not cover properties owned outright by the business. If you work from home council tax can also be included.
Administrative costs that can be covered include advertising your business, stationary from printers to paperclips, postage stamps, envelopes and telephone and fax bills. Remembering to claim these items as tax deductibles is especially important for the small business; you would be surprised how much money is spent on seemingly small and inconsequential office supplies.
Company vehicles are a bit of a grey area. It is highly unlikely that cars or vans will be deductible themselves; though it is worth talking to a business accountant about this. However, hire cars for business purposes can be deemed business expenses. Fuel is tax deductible but only after a certain mileage is reached. Do the appropriate research with the tax authorities or a small business accountant to find out exactly what is deductible here.
Travel by bus, boat, plane, train or taxi for business purposes can be tax deductible. When you arrive your hotel and meals are can also be claimed as expenses. NB: Meals only include breakfast and an evening meal and they must be of a ‘reasonable’ price, the tax authorities have no definition of reasonable so you may be asked to defend your case if the authorities consider your dining habits a little extravagant.
By keeping accurate records for all of the above, and submitting them as business expenses at the end of the year, your business can see significant savings. Always check any expense claims with the tax authorities or an accountant.