If you are self-employed, there are a number of allowable business expenses that can be offset against your income. If you are self-employed in Ireland, it’s important you are aware of what you can claim and what books and records you should keep.

So, what expenses are allowable?

Allowable expenses are costs incurred for the day to day running of your business, i.e.,
  • Materials/Purchases for resale
  • Wages
  • Rent/Rates
  • Repairs/Maintenance
  • Light/Heat
  • Motor /Machinery Expenses used in the business
  • Professional / Accountancy Fees
  • Loan Interest paid for any business items
  • Lease payments on motor/machinery uses in the business
Other expenses with exceptions:
  • Travel
    • Travel expenses from home to work is not an allowable expense, but travel for work reasons i.e., to meetings or another place of work are allowable
  • Clothing/Uniform
    • Normal working clothes are not allowable but if you are required to wear certain uniforms or safety clothing this is allowable
  • Entertainment
    • Entertaining clients is not an allowable expense. Although reasonable staff entertainment is not a taxable benefit for your staff, it is also not a tax allowable expense for your business.

The following expenses are not allowable and cannot be included;

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Personal
What if I some of my expenses are for business and personal?

If for example, you use your car and mobile phone for business and personal, a percentage will be calculated to claim back the running costs in relation to the business.

Keeping records

Evidence of all Income & Expenses must be kept on hard or soft copy and retained for 6 years. Examples of evidence are:

  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Bank Statements


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