When completing your tax return a good accountant will check that all of your tax deductions are included. Sadly, however, some are less pro-active and will simply process the details you give them, without looking for extra tax savings. So, to maximise your tax deductions, you need to make sure you let your accountant know about them and that nothing is forgotten.
Here are our top forgotten tax deductions:
- If you do any work from home, you can claim part of your household running costs, including heat and light, mortgage interest and council tax.
- If you ever use your car for business, you can claim part of your running costs. Even quite occasional use is worth a claim: does your accountant know about it?
- You can claim capital allowances on any asset you use in your business, including computers, furniture, equipment and your car. If you use something partly for business and partly personal, then a partial claim is possible.
- Did you pay your spouse, partner or children for some work in your business? Tell your accountant about it. If you didn’t pay them last year, ask if it’s something you should consider this year.
- Lost the paperwork or never had it? Don’t give up – tell your accountant about it. Just because you’re missing a receipt doesn’t mean the expense can’t be claimed. There are other ways to prove the expenditure took place and HMRC will not usually refuse reasonable claims.
- Professional subscriptions related to your business are deductible. This applies not only to sole traders and business partners but also to directors and other employees who pay their own subscriptions personally.
- Most pension contributions are made net of basic rate tax but you need to include them in your tax return to get any higher rate tax relief that’s due.
- If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, gift aid payments will save you tax, but your accountant won’t know about them unless you tell them. Don’t forget to include entry fees for museums, zoos, etc – these are often paid under gift aid.
Forgetting a valid tax deduction is a tragedy: don’t let it happen to you!