Working out profits, losses and capital allowances
This section provides you with the information to let you work out your taxable profits or losses if you are self-employed.
In this section, we provide information and help which we hope will enable you to prepare your own accounts and work out your taxable profits.
In particular, we provide information on the following areas of taxation for the self-employed:
- Can I claim for pre trade expenses?
- How do I work out my taxable profit?
- What business expenses are allowable?
- What capital allowances can I claim?
- What if I make a loss?
- What is the cash basis?
- How do I work out my profit for universal credit?
For a simple overview of the new trading and property allowance, why not check out our easy-to-digest factsheet?
Our guide to self-employment is intended to supplement the material in this section. We wrote this guide to help advisers (non-tax) who advise low-income self-employed individuals and also for self-employed people who want more detailed information in one accessible place. The guide explains the less common tax rules and contains more detailed information including a case study showing how to prepare accounts and what to include on your tax return such as how to treat pre-trade expenses and using the cash basis.
If you have come from abroad to work in the UK, we suggest you also visit our migrants section.
If you are unhappy with the way in which you have been treated by HMRC, you may be able to make a complaint.
HMRC manage the UK tax system. You can find their contact details on GOV.UK.
HMRC have e-learning packages available online for the self-employed and also run regular webinars that you can join and which cover various topics such as business expenses, capital allowances, etc. More details and dates can be found on GOV.UK.
You can find out where to get help from third party organisations in our getting help section.