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Contractor Expenses



Relocation costs are your responsibility when contracting
If a contract obliges you to relocate, you need to account for the costs. You may deduct a large part of it all from tax, but that may still leave you with a hefty bill. Here's how to handle it.

Contractors can claim expenses for renting a flat or house near the workplace
You can do almost anything you want with your rented flat or house near the client workplace, so long as you maintain your principal residence.

Is renting a home near the contract site an allowable expense?
Contractors who rent a place to live near where they are working can deduct almost all expenses if the accomodation they are renting isn't their principal place of residence.

Contractors can claim costs for staying overnight on business with friends and family
Contractors can stay with friends and family when working away from home on business and claim the expense. What’s more, the friend can also benefit.

I’ve bought a house to be near my clients: what costs can I claim?
Contractors who buy a second home to be closer to clients can claim a range of costs as expenses, explains David Colom of DJ Colom & Co.

Claiming Company cars and other transport

Buying a company car - is it worth it?
Should you buy your own car and charge it to the company, or purchase it as a company car through the company?

Contractors should be aware of new taxi rules
The new rules regarding taxi expenses only affect contractors under very specific circumstances.

Contractors can claim expenses for using a bicycle or motorcycle for travel
Contractors can claim mileage allowances for using their bicycle or motorcycle to travel to and from work. However, there is no tax relief for the purchase of the bicycle or motorcycle.

Is it worth contractors buying a company car?
Even with efficient, low emission cars, most contractors are better off claiming private mileage, says Phil Richards of accountants Blevins Franks.

Contractors can buy low emission company cars tax efficiently
Contractors buying company cars has been of borderline benefit, but James Abbott of Abbott Moore explains that low emission cars may tip the balance.

Can I give my spouse a company car with no ‘benefit in kind’ due?
Contractors using P11D exemptions for low-paid staff to avoid BIK tax on a spouse’s company car will get caught, says Aboott Moore’s James Abbott.

Contractor guide to company cars – Part 1: how to calculate if it’s worthwhile
Limited company contractors have the option of running a company car. But do the tax costs make it worthwhile? Abbott Moore’s James Abbott explains.

Contractor guide to company cars – Part 2: other considerations and options
For contractors thinking of a company car there are other considerations that can affect the benefit in kind charge, says Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

Company owned bicycles and motorbikes – contractor tax issues
Contractors can benefit from company bikes under Cycle to Work rules. Company motorbikes may also be tax efficient, says Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.


Can contractors claim expenses without receipts?
Contractors often ask how much expenses can be claimed and whether these expenses need receipts?

Dispensation and why contractors cannot claim expenses without receipts
Explains the Inland Revenue expenses rules, what an Inland Revenue Dispensation agreement means, and why you cannot claim without receipts.

Umbrellas, HMRC, and dispensation agreements
How HMRC views umbrella companies and an explanation of dispensation agreements


Can I claim food expenses and without receipts?
A contractor enquiries if they can claim for unreciepted food expenses.

Gifts and entertainment

Can expenses be claimed for entertainment?
Answers a question from a reader about the rules for claiming entertainment expenses.

How to buy gifts for your clients and claim on expenses
The tax man is not particularly generous when it comes to treating your staff as this article explains!

Can I give myself a tax-free long service award?
Contracting and contractors have been around for a few decades now. Does this mean contractors may pay themselves tax-free awards for long service?

Use of home as office

Claiming contractor expenses for use of home as office
Discusses if claims should be made for use of home, what the rules are, and what can be claimed.

Contractors can take reasonable home business deductions
With recent changes to tax practice, contractors who really use their homes for business can deduct more expenses from their taxes.

What expenses can contractors claim for using a home office?
Contractors who spend time working in their offices at home can claim a proportion of the running costs of their home as legitimate business expenses, thereby saving money on their tax and personal outgoings.

Contracting guide to home office expenses for limited company contractors
Contractors trading via a limited company are technically employees, so home office rules require a rental licence, says James Abbott of Abbott Moore.

HMRC inspections

Minimising the risk of an HMRC investigation
Contractors can minimise the risk of being investigated by HMRC by taking simple yet effective measures, explains Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

IR35 issues

Does charging expenses to your client affect your IR35 position?
Legitmate business expenses can be recharged to clients without affecting status as long as some simple guidelines are followed.


Training expenses - what contractors can claim
Investment in training can pay real dividends for contractors in order to maintain and upgrade their skills. Although most relevant training costs can be claimed, some types of training are excluded by HMRC.

Can I claim for training as a pre-incorporation expense?
Contractors have limited scope to claim for training expenses incurred before incorporation, explains Steve Crouch of

Claiming Travel Expenses

If I contract at a former employers can I claim for travel?
Should your former employer offer you a contract, you still have all the rights contractors are entitled to. But you have to be very careful about status.

Does taking a break get around the 24 month contractor expenses rule?
Answers a contractor's question about the 24 month expenes rule and explains the rules in detail.

Can you clarify the 24 month expense rules?
A contractor requires some clarification on the 24 month expense rules. At what point does the rule kick in, and can the 24 month clock be reset with a new contract?

Contractors can recover unclaimed travel expenses from past contracts
If a contractor has failed to claim for past travel expenses, these can still be recovered under certain conditions.

Does contracting for different clients at the same location affect the 24 month rule?
Contractors can change clients at the same location and ‘reset’ their 24 month rule expenses status, but only under certain conditions.

Contractor travel expenses, tax relief and the 24-month rule explained
Contractors can claim travel expenses and benefit from tax relief as long as they stay within the 24-month rule, says Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

Contractor expenses: combining business trips with holidays
Contractors can legitimately combine a genuine business trip with a holiday and still claim contracting expenses, says Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

Can I hire a company car for a single contract?
Contractors hiring a company car for the duration of a single contract will encounter HMRC’s tough tax rules, explains Abbott Moore’ James Abbott.

IR35 and other issues for contractors claiming expenses from clients for flights
Travelling on behalf of your clients faces numerous challenges over expenses and tax rules.

What expenses can you claim?

Valid expenses as a contractor - what you can claim
We describe in detail what expenses are allowed to be claimed when you are contracting.

Contractor start up expenses that can be claimed
All the expenses you can incur on start up and what can be claimed.

How can contractors identify deductible contracting expenses?
Barry Roback of JSA Group shares with ContractorCalculator his insights into what constitutes a valid deductible expense for contractors, in the face of increased scrutiny by HMRC of what some contractors are claiming.

How contractors should process contracting expenses
Contractors who run their own limited company can use really simple systems to ensure they keep accurate, up-to-date expenses records for their tax and VAT accounting, as well as ensure they get to claim everything they can.

How to charge contracting expenses and disbursements back to your client
Contractors incurring expenses & disbursements on behalf of clients must treat them correctly when charging them back, says Clare Rickman of InTouch.

What are Schedule E expenses?
Contractors can claim Schedule E expenses via their umbrella company or contracting limited company to reduce the amount of tax and NICs they pay.

Contractor expenses: don't get caught by HMRC's 'duality of purpose' trap
Contractors who have incurred expenses partly for business purposes and partly for personal reasons should be careful how they claim tax relief.

Contractor guide to mobile phone expenses – warning, some rules are counterintuitive
Contractors claiming costs of mobile phones from their contracting business must abide by HMRC’s expenses rules, explains Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

Can my limited company pay for counselling?
Contractors can pay for certain types of counselling without attracting a Benefit in Kind tax charge or employer’s National Insurance Contributions.

Can I buy a tax deductible iPad or Android tablet?
Contractors can claim a tax deduction for the cost of an iPad or Android tablet if it is primarily for business, says Abbott Moore’s James Abbott.

Contractor guide to tax reliefs allowable on protective clothing
Contractors can claim certain items of protective clothing as legitimate expenses and benefit from tax relief, explains James Abbott of Abbott Moore.

Temporary workplace rules for contractors
Contractors must comply with temporary workplace rules to qualify for travel and subsistence expenses plus tax deductions when travelling to clients.

Supervision, Direction and Control (SDC) explained for contractors
Contractors need to understand how Supervision, Director and Control (SDC) could apply to them as HMRC may widen its use.