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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15977
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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Hi I am a recently self employed musician, is it possible

Customer Question

I am a recently self employed musician, is it possible to deduct the cost of music and instruments bought in the past year (specifically for work) from my total income?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  TonyTax replied 3 years ago.

You refer to the cost of music. Do you mean sheet music or cds? When did you start out as self-employed? When were the purchases made?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have been selfemployed since sept 2012, and have bought the sheet music (for teaching) between April 2013 and 2014

Expert:  TonyTax replied 3 years ago.

Leave this with me while I draft my answer.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 3 years ago.

Hi again.

There are basically two types of business expenditure, revenue expenditure and capital expenditure.

The term revenue expenditure covers everyday business expenses such as may be incurred under the generic headings here and here. You claim those against your income for the accounting period during which they are incurred, though there may be occasions whereby an expense may be an advance payment for a period which straddles the end of your accounting period, equipment insurance being an example. In that case, you may apportion it between two different accounting periods.

The term capital expenditure covers what you might refer to as one-off or infrequent purchases such as musical instruments in your case. If you buy an instrument, you can either claim capital allowances over a period of years using the writing down allowance system or in the year of purchase under the annual investment allowance system which effectively accelerates the tax relief. Read about capital allowance here.

As far as sheet music is concerned, that for me would be a revenue expense as I would have thought it needs frequent replacement as it becomes dog-eared and damaged by everyday usage.

As for your instruments, if you owned these at the time you started out as self-employed and they were not bought specifically for business use, maybe a year or two before, you can introduce them into the business at their value at the time you started out as self-employed and claim annual writing down allowances. If you bought them specifically for business use after you started out or even before you started out you have the choice to claim the whole cost in one go under the annual investment allowances rules.

Any capital allowance or business expense claims need to be adjusted for non-business use.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  TonyTax replied 3 years ago.

It's been several days since I answered your question. Is there anything you need further clarification on?"