From the foils you use on clients’ hair to the pens you use to jot down appointments, lots of your business expenses are tax-deductible. However, many self-employed hairdressers aren’t fully aware of what this applies to. If you’re not claiming back on your business expenses, you could potentially be missing out on hundreds of pounds each year.

So, how do you know when your taxes need a trim? In this article, we’ll explore the following:

  • 7 self-employed hairdresser expenses you can claim
  • How to claim expenses
  • How Countingup can help you with your expenses

7 self-employed hairdresser expenses you can claim

Like many self-employed people, you may find that you’re having to invest a lot of money into your business. However, if you want to protect your take-home pay, it’s vital that you are aware of the tax deductions that you’re entitled to on these expenses.

Here are some of the most common expenses that self-employed hairdressers can claim:

1) Chair rental

Do you rent a chair from a local salon or barber shop? If so, you may find that this is one of your larger expenses. The good news, however, is that it also has the potential to save you a significant sum of money each year.

Remember to keep track of what you’re paying the owner alongside any money that’s coming into your own business. This is especially helpful if the owner is taking a percentage of your daily earnings because your costs could vary each week.

2) Products and equipment

This covers anything you’re using to carry out your job – from scissors, towels and shampoos, to hair dryers and brushes. Plus, it’s not just limited to new equipment. If you need to replace or upgrade something, you can include these expenses on your tax return too. 

Many hairdressers will include the most obvious equipment in their tax returns, but may forget about items such as cleaning products. If you need it to keep your business running, it’s worth including.

3) Refreshments 

If you’re offering your clients tea, coffee or other refreshments during their appointment, you can claim this back as a business expense. However, this does get a bit trickier to calculate when you consider the fact that you can’t include anything consumed by you.

The best way to go about this is to work out the total cost and remove a percentage based on what you think you’re using personally.

4) Travel

Mobile hairdressers can claim back travel expenses, whether they’re using their own vehicle or public transport. Again, you can only claim on travel for work purposes; for example, visiting clients or going to events. 

Using a mileage rate is simpler than attempting to calculate costs of wear and tear on your vehicle, fuel and insurance. Instead, it allows you to claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles travelled and 25p per mile from then on. HMRC has a handy guide to help you work out your mileage rate. 

Although you can claim on most costs associated with business travel, you won’t be able to claim on any parking fines or speeding tickets you accrue. 

5) Phone and utility bills

Bills such as line rental and broadband can add up. That’s why it’s essential to include them in your tax return. However, as with all the other expenses on this list, you must only include costs for work purposes. As a result, some hairdressers find it easier to separate their personal and professional bills – for example, they may choose to purchase a work mobile. 

If you work from home, where it’s not so simple to separate your bills, you can deduct a percentage of your heating, lighting and water bills for business purposes.

6) Advertising and marketing

Advertising your business isn’t cheap, but it’s often necessary. So, whether you’ve placed an ad in the newspaper, had flyers created or paid for a website, you are entitled to claim back on these costs. 

This covers even the smallest aspects of marketing, so it’s useful to keep track of all the associated costs, such as:

  • Purchasing a domain name
  • Graphic design services
  • Copywriting services
  • Postage on marketing materials
  • Website hosting
  • Printing

7) Insurance

Since you’re working with the public, it’s a good idea to take out an insurance policy. Although it’s not compulsory, you’re working with hazardous chemicals, sharp objects and electrical equipment, so it’s a worthwhile investment.

Not only will this give you and your customers peace of mind, but it’s also an expense that you can claim back on as part of your tax return. 

To find out more about what expenses you could be claiming back, visit this page on the gov.uk website.

How to claim expenses

When you’re self-employed, you need to fill out a Self Assessment tax return each year. This is where you will be able to claim back on all your business expenses. For further guidance, download our comprehensive guide to your Self Assessment here

Save time and keep organised when it comes to tracking your expenses

If you’re self-employed, you’ll know how much time financial tasks take out of your busy day. Why not make some of those tasks simpler?

Countingup, the two in one business current account and accounting app is designed to make it easier for you to record your expenses so that you can focus on running your business. It automates expense categorisation, prompts you to capture receipts when you’ve made a transaction – saving you hours of admin time when it comes to submitting your tax return. The app also gives you live insights into your business finances. 

Find out more here and sign up free today.

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