Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tax Expenses

It’s the end of the tax year today. Yippee-doo. On the up-side, my days of gnashing over a tax return and ripping anonymous receipts in total frustration are over. After four years of filling out my tax return (on-line, very handy), I’ve decided ‘sod it, I’m not doing it anymore, let someone else deal with the stress’ and I’ve signed up for the services of a ‘showbiz’ accountant.

Basically, if your self-employment earnings don’t exceed £15k then the tax return is relatively easy to fill out but if you’re a gobshite moron nincompoop like me, then it’s best to get someone to do it for you. Joking aside, the on-line tax return is pretty much a doddle and easy to use but now that my earnings are cranking up all the way over the £20k mark (I’m typing this by the pool), my brain just can’t compute those kind of wild and crazy numbers.

Part of this afternoon was spent trying to arrange and fathom my receipts in a way that my accountant might understand so regretfully, even when you have an accountant you can’t just sit back and expect them to decode your slips by mental telepathy (why not goddamn you?). You have to keep a basic record of your incomings and outgoings (check out the basic Self Assessment post I did yonks ago for more info).

So, here’s a helpful list of what you can or might be able to claim as ‘expenses’. I’m off-loading my receipts to my long-suffering better-half so she can crunch the numbers and I can focus on my spec for EastEnders.

Expenses for Screenwriters:

Rechargeable expenses
Agent’s commission
Office/studio overheads (even rehearsal room hire)
Repairs/renewals of equipment
Computer costs
Scripts/books/trade journals (incl subscriptions)
Telephone (75%)
Mobile phone
Internet services
Motor expenses (75%)
Hire purchase interest on car (75%)
Bad debts (is there a “good debt?”)
Bank interest/charges
CDs/DVDs/tapes (50% or more)
Theatre/film/exhibition tickets
Television licence/rental (50%)
VCR rental


Lianne said...

Ah, thank you for the timely reminder that I really need to get one of those home visits from someone from Inland Revenue. I'm still in my first year of being self-employed, and I'm a PAYE worker as well and I'm hopelessly confused by the whole thing. My Mum is a book-keeper too, so you'd think I would have a basic idea, but no. Think I might end up off-loading all my receipts on her!

James Henry said...

Danny, you left off 'comics'.

Best job in the world.

James Moran said...

Don't forget:

Arse implants
Cheese board
The man who vanishes dead hookers from your hotel room at 3am

I love that the fee for the guys who sort your tax out for you is also tax deductible, it seems like some sort of delicious scam. But it's all on the up and up, and all my receipts are fine, and anyway Danny said that he'd pay back the orphanage it's not like they *need* the money right now.

Dominic Carver said...

Surely alcohol is tax deductible, as it's an essential writer's tool (this of course excludes pregnant writers)?