May 7 2014.

It’s tax return time, and under Business Journal in the current – May – issue of Motorcycle Trader, tax advisor Majid Rasheed provides an overview of what can and what cannot be claimed against income as an allowable expense.

Tax can be a minefield, and ensuring returns are correct is vital. The matter of claimable expenses causes much confusion. On the one hand, you don’t want to miss out on valuable reliefs, yet, on the other, you don’t want to mistakenly claim for something that isn’t allowable and possibly give HMRC an excuse to conduct an investigation into your affairs.

The accounts you draw up are a summary of income and expenses, usually for a period of 12 months, and are declared to HMRC on your tax return. It’s important to note that expenses are costs to a business incurred “wholly and exclusively” for the purpose of trade. These expenses can be deducted from your total income, allowing you to claim tax relief on them. If you trade via a limited company, these expenses must be “wholly, exclusively and necessarily” for the purpose of trade.

However, not all expenses are allowed relief against your income. Your allowable expenses include: equipment; replacement of parts; professional indemnity insurance; professional subscriptions; course fees (in some cases); accountancy fees; advertising and marketing; printing; stationary and books; postage; use of home as office; mileage and business travel; subsistence; staff wages; and cleaning and laundry.

To find out more, turn to page 40 of Motorcycle Trader, May 2014.

To receive a copy of the magazine in hard-copy format, call the Trader team on 01273 616040 or email