Self-Employed Hospital or Key Worker?
Are you making the most of your tax-free allowances?
To help you with your tax planning, we’ve asked GoSimpleTax to produce this article.
While the nation’s attention is currently fixed on the work of our carers and hospital workers, little thought is paid to those that are self-employed and still need to submit their tax returns.
Of course, it’s sometimes tough to determine what counts as a deductible expense and what doesn’t. Mike Parkes, Self-Assessment Expert an Director at GoSimpleTax , has written a timely article to help guide you through the maze.
What clothing expenses can I claim for?
Uniforms are costly. And while you do operate as a self-employed individual, you may also represent certain authorities when you’re caring for patients or vulnerable people. As a result, you may be expected to purchase a uniform or your own PPE.
Fortunately, you’re able to claim for it as an allowable business expense. Provided that what you’re purchasing is either a uniform or necessary protective clothing needed for your work, you’ll qualify for tax relief.
What’s more, if you need to purchase any additional PPE for your role (say, gloves and face masks), this is also considered an allowable expense.
Are there any other expenses I may be eligible for?
It largely depends on your specific role within healthcare. If you operate as a consultant, for example, it may be that you must be a member of a professional organisation in order to practise in your field. That’s why subscription fees are often eligible for tax relief.
HMRC have a list of approved organisations and learned societies to help you determine whether you can claim or not. Whilst this list is aimed at employees, it does give a good, broad view of the subscriptions you can claim as an expense on your tax return.
If you’re a carer, it may be that you’re required to drive between the houses of your vulnerable clients. Petrol expenses add up – so, as long as you’re driving for work purposes, you can claim some travel costs in your Self Assessment tax return. This extends to public transport and parking, which is especially useful if you’re travelling to hospitals.
How can I claim my expenses?
Firstly, be sure you’ve registered for your Self Assessment. If you’ve not done this before, you’ll be sent a letter following your registration with a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. With this, you can set up your account for the Self Assessment online service. However, the process takes approximately 10 working days. Factor that in ahead of the Self Assessment tax return deadline.
Currently, Self Assessment tax returns can be submitted to HMRC via post, HMRC’s online portal, or using tax return software. By filing online or using tax return software, you’ll effectively be giving yourself an additional three months’ extension as the online submission deadline is 31st January (as opposed to 31st October of the previous year for postal submission).
If you’re new to Self Assessments, you claim for tax relief by adding up your total allowable expenditure and including this figure on your tax return. Be sure to keep a hold of all receipts as they can act as evidence should HMRC require it. Of course, parking and clothing receipts are some of the easiest items to lose. This is why it’s important that you pay careful attention to how you store and log them, otherwise you run the risk of an unnecessarily higher tax bill.
With GoSimpleTax, you can prevent all those receipts from piling up and adding stress to the Self Assessment tax return process. Instead of sifting through paper, their full service allows you to take photos of any invoices or receipts and log them immediately from your mobile device. But you can also use their free trial straight away to get started managing your finances in real time.
Then, when you’re ready to submit, all the documentation you need is right in front of you – saving you time, money and reliance on an accountant.