Business Expenses: What Can I Claim Without A Receipt?

What Business Expenses Can I Claim Without A Receipt?

If you’ve incurred business expenses which you haven’t got receipts for, you’ll probably be wondering what can I claim without a receipt? So you’d go and ask your accountant, right?! After all, good accountants like us, with low monthly fixed costs could save you more in tax than their fees. Specific advice on which expenses you can and can’t claim for is included in all of our online accounting services from £20pcm. See all of our low monthly fixed fees or use our accountancy fees calculator to get a quote for your business accounts, tax returns, bookkeeping and payroll.

What Business Expenses Can I Claim Without A Receipt?

In summary, if you pay for something necessary for running your business (i.e. business expenses) you can usually claim an income tax deduction for it. However, there are some expenses that are specifically blocked (e.g. entertaining contacts), and others that may be at least restricted. So if in doubt, ask your accountant.

Make sure you keep as much of a record as possible and preferably a receipt of it to support your claim for it as tax deductible business expenses.

Normally, you’ll get a receipt but many people think that if they haven’t got a receipt they can’t claim for it – not true. It’s often the little items of business expenses that are not claimed, but over a year they can add up to a few thousand pounds, just as smoking a pack of cigarettes every day does.

As an aside, with over 80% of the price of cigarettes just tax, another tax saving device is to stop smoking!

The test is whether you can satisfy HMRC that you incurred the business expenses.

So, if you pay for something in cash but don’t have a receipt, still record it and anything that would help satisfy the HMRC you incurred the business expenses. 

For example…

You buy a piece of equipment in cash from a nomadic traveller for £300 who won’t give you a receipt. Still record what you bought, when, from whom and how much you paid. You have this item of equipment that you can prove if necessary because it physically exists. You must reasonably have purchased it and so by noting a few details down, it will help to satisfy HMRC.

The same is true for anyone who wants paying in cash and didn’t give you a receipt. If it’s business expenses, you’re entitled to claim it so long as you can satisfy a reasonable tax inspector. The more information you have, the better. This is not the case if you want to reclaim any VAT charged on the item as different rules apply (see below).

Small items of business expenses you might not have receipts for, such as car parking.

If you haven’t kept a record there’s no reason why you can’t estimate on a sensible basis, how much you’ve spent over the year. If you calculate it sensibly, you can satisfy HMRC. It would of course be better to record them as you go to avoid any debate over it.

Watch out! – VAT expense claims are different

For VAT purposes you only

claim back VAT on business expenses without a VAT receipt if you are VAT registered and they are under £25 for…
1. Car parking apart from on-street meter parking which is outside the scope of VAT.
2. Phone calls from public or private telephones.
3. Purchases from coin operated machines.
4. Road tolls.

How we can help you

If you’re still wondering what business expenses I can claim, ask your accountant, or contact us using our enquiry form to ask about our services which include this advice. If we do your accounts and/or tax for you, we’ll help to ensure you have claimed everything you can.