Complete guide to business expenses: working from home » SMEInsider

Complete guide to business expenses: working from home

Back to: Complete guide to business expenses: what can I claim as a business expense?

If your home doubles as your office, you can also claim back some, but not all, of your household expenses. The amount you can claim is based on how much of your home is used for work, and for how much of the time. So, if there are three rooms in your flat and you use one exclusively as an office, you could claim back a third of your rent or mortgage payment as a business expense. However, if your flat has three rooms but you use your bedroom as an office for 12 hours each day, you can only really claim for 50% of that third, i.e. one sixth of your rent. To make things easier, many small business owners and freelancers like to allocate a room or area of the house to use exclusively for work.

Once you factor in other parts of the house that are shared between your working and non-working day, such as kitchens and bathrooms, it can start to feel a bit complicated. No accountant is (hopefully!) ever going to make you calculate what percentage of toilet trips are work-related, but you do need to decide how much of your home you can realistically claim to use solely during your working day.

Telephone, internet, gas and electricity bills can also be partially reimbursed, but again, you’ll need to establish how much of the total bill applied to time you spent using your home for work. When it comes to phone calls and internet, you might find it easier just to have a separate line installed for business. You can claim up to £18 per month in household bills without having to show any records. For anything over this, make sure you can prove the additional costs!

See also:

Complete guide to business expenses: trains, planes, automobiles… and bicycles

Complete guide to business expenses: equipment and furniture

Complete guide to business expenses: tools and specialist clothing

Complete guide to business expenses: professional services, subscriptions and memberships

HMRC information on tax-deductible expenses