Can I Claim for Training Costs?

(3 minutes to read)

If you want or need to take on additional training in order to develop your skills, then you might be able to claim this as an expense. However, you will need to ensure that any courses you take are related to your line of work.

With the numerous benefits that come hand-in-hand with being self-employed, it’s not hard to see why there are now more people than ever joining the contracting sector.

As a contractor you have the opportunity to have more control, flexibility, a better work/life balance, as well as being able to potentially earn more than a permanent worker in the same role.

A great benefit to contracting is that you are able to claim back on expenses – as long as they are made wholly and exclusively for the running of your business. This means that you can reduce your tax bill at the end of the year due to the fact that you won’t be taxed on items and purchases that are needed for your company.

Training costs

For many contractors, it is necessary to take the time to continue to learn your trade and develop your skills within your field, especially for an industry that will always be evolving – such as the technology sector.

Training can be quite expensive; especially if it is something you have to do on a regular basis. Luckily, this does count as a legitimate expense – as long as it will help with building and improving your existing skills and help to advance the way in which you carrying out your duties.

There is also the fact that you are allowed to claim back on the travel costs if having to attend a different location for your training – as long as it is a temporary site for you.

It does get a little more complicated if the training is to acquire a new skill, as in most cases the costs of this type of training would not be allowable. You may need further advice and guidance from your accountant to work out what is the best way to claim back on your specific type of training.

Training abroad

If you do need to have training abroad then you will need to prove to HMRC that this is absolutely necessary (a requirement of your contract) and not just an excuse to have a holiday paid for through expenses!

You may be asked to provide specific details of the training and explain why this particular training is essential for developing your skills. There is also the fact that you will not be able to make any other claims while you are out there when it comes to any other activities that are seen as being leisurely and are in no way related to the course you are attending.

To find out more about what expenses you could claim or about making the move to contracting, please call Sophie on 01442 795 100 or email

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Types of expenses

How you are contracting – whether as a Sole Trader, Limited or Umbrella company, will determine what counts as an allowable expense for you, however, Limited Company contractors are able to claim back on a much wider range of expenses compared to the other methods.

The most common types of contractor expenses includes:

  • Travel
  • Your company’s commercial rent, heating and lighting
  • Computers and software
  • Stationery
  • Accountancy fees
  • Advertising or marketing costs (such as a website)

There is also the fact that if you work from home, it may be possible for you to claim an allowance to cover the costs for things like heating, electricity, internet and telephone use.

It is important to be aware that with any expenses you wish to claim, you will need to keep hold of receipts for proof of these purchases, for a minimum of 6 years.

At the end of each tax year you will need to add up all of your allowable expenses and factor them into your accounts and tax return.

If you have any questions on expenses or contracting, please call Sophie on 01442 795 100 or email

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Why Dolan Accountancy?

Dolan Accountancy was set up by Simon J Dolan, the man behind the well-known brand SJD Accountancy. With over 25 years experience in the contracting marketing, Dolan Accountancy has the heritage, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With changes in Public Sector IR35 Legislation we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.
  • Same day payments- We offer same day payments as standard providing funds are received into our account by 9am, for no additional fee.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email or