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Claiming Expenses

This page covers information on allowable expenses; motoring expenses; other expenses including travel, stationery, instrument repair etc; using home as an office and paying wages.

Last updated: 09 December 2020

The Tax Acts state that, as a self-employed individual, you are entitled to claim for expenses incurred ‘wholly and exclusively... for the purpose of trade’.

The tax authorities will only allow expenses which come within this definition.

Luckily, this does cover most of the expenses you are likely to come across. If you can demonstrate to the tax authorities that the expenditure was incurred as a direct result of your work as a musician then he will be quite happy.

There are, however, a few borderline cases where you may have to negotiate. For example, stage clothes are a very grey area, and could fall under the notion of ‘duality’, as they have a duality of purpose. Some Inspectors have in the past claimed that clothes were not allowable as they served a dual purpose of being needed to perform the job and protecting the wearer’s modesty.

They have even taken this to court and won. However, some if not most Inspectors will allow clothes as long as they are only used on stage. Clearly, this is one area in which you would have to justify the expense. Therefore, jeans worn on stage would be difficult to justify.

We explore the more usual types of allowable expense. This is by no means an exhaustive list and you may well think of more along the same lines incurred in the course of your work.