As a content creator and influencer it can be difficult to know what you can claim as an expense for your business. Are you sometimes tempted not to include an expense as you are not sure whether you can?
Or perhaps you might be using something personally and are uncertain as to how to deal with this? If this sounds familiar then read on!
What can I claim as a Youtuber / content creator?
There are a lot of costs associated with creating great content and maintaining your social media presence. It can be easy to forget those costs along the way but this can hit your pocket further down the line if you are not claiming all your allowable expenses.
Whether you operate on a self-employed basis or through a limited company, the bottom line is that you will pay tax to HMRC on your profits every year. But profits are not simply the income you have received in the year… profits = income – tax deductible expenses
So what is a tax deductible expense? Put simply, this can be any expense that you incur wholly and exclusively in the course of running your channels, providing HMRC have not specifically disallowed it.
I have summarised some expenses below that would be typical of the creator industry, just to give you some ideas of the types of expenditure you should be recording:
Equipment – cameras, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, furniture (such as a gaming chair), repair costs, printers, prizes for giveaways;
Fees – domain costs, editing software, trademarking fees, copyright fees, advertising fees, legal fees, accountancy fees, web-hosting fees, trade show fees, conference entrance fees (Vidcon / Youtuber conferences etc);
General costs – postage costs, phone bills, hotel stays (for business trips), use of your home as your office, travel expenses to business events;
What if there is private use?
HMRC will only allow you to claim expenses that are related to your business. This is not to say that you cannot claim an expense for something you use personally as well.
If it is possible to split the expense into ‘business’ and ‘private’ elements then a deduction is allowed for tax purposes for the business element. Provided this split has been made on a reasonable basis, HMRC will accept this as an allowable business expense.
For example, if you use your personal mobile phone for business calls at an estimated 30% of the time, you will be able to claim 30% of the telephone bills against your profit, meaning you will reduce your tax payable.