Simplified Expenses If You Are Self-Employed

September 24, 2014

What are simplified expenses?

Simplified expenses are a way of calculating some of your business expenses using flat rates instead of working out your actual business costs.

You don’t have to use simplified expenses. You can decide if it suits your business.

Who can use simplified expenses?

Simplified expenses can be used by:

  • sole traders
  • business partnerships that have no companies as partners

Simplified expenses can’t be used by limited companies or business partnerships involving a limited company.

Types of expenses

You can use flat rates for:

  • business costs for vehicles
  • working from home
  • living in your business premises

You must calculate all other expenses by working out the actual costs.

How to use simplified expenses

  • record your business miles for vehicles, hours you work at home and how many people live at your business premises over the year
  • at the end of the tax year use the flat rates for vehicles, working from home, and living at your business premises to work out your expenses
  • include these amounts in the total for your expenses in your Self-Assessment tax return


Calculate your car, van or motorcycle expenses using a flat rate for mileage instead of the actual costs of buying and running your vehicle, eg insurance, repairs, servicing, fuel. You cannot claim simplified expenses for a vehicle you have already claimed capital allowances for, or you have included as an expense when you worked out your business profits.



Flat Rate per mile
Cars and goods vehicles first 10,000 miles 45p
Cars and goods vehicles after 10,000 miles 25p
Motorcycles 24p

You don’t have to use flat rates for all your vehicles. Once you use the flat rates for a vehicle, you must continue to do so as long as you use that vehicle for your business.

You can claim all other travel expenses (eg train journeys) and parking on top of your vehicle expenses.

Working from home

Calculate your allowable expenses using a flat rate based on the hours you work from home each month.

This means you don’t have to work out the proportion of personal and business use for your home, eg how much of your utility bills are for business.

The flat rate doesn’t include telephone or internet expenses. You can claim the business proportion of these bills by working out the actual costs.

You can only use simplified expenses if you work for 25 hours or more a month from home.


Hours of business use per month

Flat Rate per month
25 – 50 £10
51 -100 £18
101 and more £26

 Living at your business premises

A small number of businesses use their business premises as their home, eg a guesthouse, bed and breakfast or small care home.

You can use simplified expenses instead of working out the split between what you spend for your private and business use of the premises.

With simplified expenses you calculate the total expenses for the premises. Then use the flat rates to subtract an amount for your personal use of the premises, based on the number of people living on the premises and claim the rest as your business expenses.


Number of people

Flat Rate per month
1 £350
2 £500
3 + £650

For further information on how this may affect you please contact us.

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