For barristers this means:
- Court clothing: Wig and gown, detachable court collars and laundry of such items in business. HMRC will permit VAT to be recovered on dark suits as required to be worn in court – See www.gov.uk – ref. VIT 43800.
- Motoring costs: must be apportioned between personal and private use, in the perfect scenario, a log being kept covering the mileage for business use. Note that travelling from home to the Chambers or vice-versa would be classified as a private expense. No VAT on the acquisition of a car can be claimed, but 50% of the VAT can be reclaimed on car leasing.
- Phones: with most contracts having free texts/minutes it can be difficult to apportion business vs private, and so we make a pragmatic judgement between splitting that contract between private and business.
- Capital equipment: business items such as laptops, tablets, printers, and office furniture, are given tax relief through the capital allowance scheme.
- Subsistence: if it is required that work be conducted away from home then accommodation and meals become allowable costs.
- Home office: if working from home there is a claim that can be made, however if you work exclusively from home then it is possible to claim a larger allowance.
- Bank interest: if the bank account is an exclusive business account, and the interest incurred is as a result of solely business transactions, then the expense is allowable.