Uncategorized Archives | Elsby & Co

The start of an exciting new phase of development at Elsby’s!

The beginning of April marks the start of an exciting new phase of development at Elsby’s!

The two offices (Rushden and Sywell) have become independent businesses and Carl Elsby has retired from his role with the Sywell office, allowing him to put all efforts into the Rushden office.This simplifies the Elsby business significantly, as it will now be a single office based in Rushden. As a further development, Claire Emery has continued her progression by stepping into the role of Managing Director, so is responsible for determining the future direction of the business. Carl and Leona Bateman will continue to make up the Partner team. Leona takes on the important role of Finance Partner whilst Carl looks forward to a slightly less pressurised role supporting the Partner team and client services.

Claire’s plans for the forthcoming year are actually to keep things really simple. She wants to build on the business strengths and invest further in promoting staff loyalty and togetherness, which in turns allows for such a strong, supportive client service.

“There is huge consolidation in the accountancy industry where most firms of a certain size are being acquired by Private Equity investors, generally for a further sale in a few years. We are already starting to see the effect on new clients, where they have lost their point of contact due to such sales having taken place. We don’t see this as beneficial to either staff or clients, and instead see the future as long-standing, loyal, warm relationships. This is the direction I want to take Elsby’s, which is really what we’ve always been about, but I want to super-charge it”, said Claire.

For our clients here in Rushden, it is business as usual, and little will change in terms of the fantastic service that you receive, other than we’ll be looking to continually improve it! We’re excited for this new chapter for Elsby, where we continue to grow and support our wonderful clients with their business and personal aspirations.

Elsby’s really are the only accountants you’ll ever need or wish to consult, throughout the lifetime of your business and beyond. 🙌

Visit our website here to find out more about us – Accountants in Northampton & Rushden | Elsby & Co (elsbyandco.co.uk)

Find out more about the Elsby team here – Meet the Elsby & Co Team (elsbyandco.co.uk)

Maximizing Your Wealth: Personal Tax Planning

In the dynamic landscape of personal finance, strategic tax planning plays a pivotal role in maximizing wealth and securing a prosperous future.

As we start the new tax year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on your financial situation and take proactive steps to minimize your tax liability. Personal tax planning is a crucial aspect of managing your finances, and with careful consideration, you can optimize your tax strategy to keep more of your hard-earned money. At Elsby & Co, we understand the intricacies of the UK tax system and are committed to empowering individuals with the knowledge needed for effective personal tax planning. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into key strategies to help optimise your financial health.


Understanding Your Tax Obligations

To embark on a successful tax planning journey, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your tax obligations. Our expert team at Elsby & Co recommends starting with a thorough review of your income sources, investments, and potential deductions. By assessing your financial landscape, you lay the foundation for a tailored tax strategy that aligns with your unique circumstances. Take note of any major life changes, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or changes in employment status. These events can significantly impact your tax situation and may warrant adjustments in your tax strategy.

Utilizing Tax-Advantaged Accounts

One effective way to reduce your taxable income is by contributing to tax-advantaged accounts. The term tax-advantaged refers to any type of investment, financial account or savings that is exempt from taxation, tax deferred or that offers other types of tax benefits. An example of this would be to maximise the amounts paid into your pension, these contributions not only help secure your financial future but also provide immediate tax benefits. Elsby & Co can assist you in navigating pension contributions, tax relief, and other retirement-focused tax strategies.

Implementing Investment Strategies

It is key that you regularly review and consider the tax implications of your investment portfolio. A crucial element of investing is managing how much tax you will owe on your gains. The timing of disposals and the taxes are sometimes overlooked or considered after the event, deferring a disposal to the following tax year could have a big impact on the overall investment results. Before investing, it’s important to understand the type of investment you are making, how long you plan to hold it, and its tax implications.

Capitalising on Deductions and Credits

Identifying potential deductions and credits available to you. Common deductions include mortgage interest, student loan interest, and medical expenses. Additionally, taking advantage of any tax credits for which, you qualify, such as the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, or education-related credits.

Charitable Giving

If you are inclined to give back to your community or support charitable causes, consider making strategic charitable contributions. If you pay Income Tax at the basic rate no additional relief is due on your gifts. However, Higher Rate and Additional Rate Relief is given by increasing your basic rate band and higher rate band by the grossed-up amount of your charitable gifts. Not only will you contribute to a worthy cause, but you may also qualify for a charitable deduction, lowering your taxable income.

Timing Matters

The timing of your financial transactions can significantly impact your tax liability. Consider deferring income or accelerating deductions when it makes sense for your specific situation. This could involve delaying the receipt of a year-end bonus which may have pushed a portion of your income into a higher tax bracket or making early payments for deductible expenses.

Stay Informed

Tax laws and regulations are subject to change, and staying informed is crucial for effective tax planning. Elsby & Co can help you regularly review updates from tax authorities and inform you on potential changes that may affect your tax strategy.


Personal tax planning is an ongoing process that requires attention to detail and strategic decision-making. By proactively managing your finances and taking advantage of available tax incentives, you can minimize your tax liability and keep more of your money working for you.

Elsby & Co stands as your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of tax planning. By embracing a client-centric approach, staying at the forefront of technological advancements, and upholding the highest ethical standards, we empower you to maximize your wealth through strategic tax planning.

Take the proactive step towards financial success – consult with Elsby & Co today and embark on a journey to optimise your personal tax planning for the year ahead. Your wealth deserves nothing less than the expertise and innovation we bring to the table.


Call us on 01933 312950 or email us at help@elsbyandco.co.uk

Click here to find out more about how Elsby & Co can help you.

The Power of Networking Events

Networking events are an essential tool for SME growth, providing a rich soil for cultivating relationships and unearthing market insights.

In the bustling business landscape, networking events stand as pivotal junctions where professionals and entrepreneurs converge to share ideas, forge partnerships, and cultivate invaluable contacts. These events come in various formats, each tailored to different objectives and industries. From casual meet-and-greets, industry-specific conferences, to structured speed networking sessions, the opportunities for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to expand their horizons are abundant.

For SMEs, attending these gatherings is not just beneficial; it’s a strategic imperative. In a world where who you know can be as crucial as what you know, networking events offer a platform to connect with potential clients, suppliers, and even future employees. They serve as a melting pot of insights where the latest industry trends are discussed, and innovative ideas are exchanged. By engaging with peers and thought leaders, SMEs can gain a competitive edge, staying ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving market.

Moreover, such events can act as a catalyst for growth. They provide a stage for SMEs to showcase their offerings, garner feedback, and even secure investment or mentorship opportunities. The informal setting of networking events often leads to more candid conversations and the chance to build authentic relationships that go beyond mere transactions.

Recognising the importance of these interactions, here at Elsby & Co, we run our own networking events. These are specifically designed to cater to the needs of SMEs, offering them a local platform to connect, learn, and thrive within a supportive ecosystem.

Putting your business out there

Networking events serve as a platform for visibility. In a sea of competitors, standing out is vital. By attending these events, SMEs can put a face to their business, making their operations more personable and memorable. It’s a chance to share your brand’s story, ethos, and values, not just in passing conversations, but through the more lasting impressions that come from genuine connections.

Knowledge exchange is an invaluable aspect of networking events. They provide a space for SMEs to stay abreast of industry trends, learn from peers, and even gain competitor insights. This information can be pivotal in steering the business towards innovation and staying ahead of the curve.

Moreover, networking events are fertile ground for cultivating partnerships and client leads. The informal yet professional setting allows SMEs to identify potential collaborators, suppliers, or even new customers. These events can often lead to mutually beneficial relationships that might not have been forged in the confines of a traditional office setting.

Networking can bolster an SME’s support network. Running a business can be isolating, but through these events, entrepreneurs connect with mentors, advisors, and fellow business owners who can offer support, advice, and encouragement.

You’ve booked, what next?

Elsby & Co understands the power of networking and runs bespoke events in Northamptonshire, tailored to the needs and interests of SMEs. These events are designed to maximise the benefits outlined above, ensuring that SMEs leave not just with a handful of business cards, but with valuable connections that could shape the future of their business.

Navigating the bustling landscape of networking events can be a game-changer for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These gatherings are more than mere social mixers; they are fertile grounds for cultivating business relationships, exchanging industry insights, and unlocking growth opportunities. To truly reap the benefits, SMEs must approach these events with a strategic mindset. Here’s how to get the best out of networking events and ensure your time is well-invested.

Preparation is Key

Before stepping into the networking arena, arm yourself with knowledge. Research the event, the attendees, and the industries represented. This intel will help you identify who you want to connect with and tailor your conversations accordingly. Prepare an elevator pitch that succinctly conveys your business’s value proposition, making it memorable and engaging.

Set Clear Objectives

Define what success looks like for you at the event. Are you aiming to find potential clients, collaborators, or to gain market insights? Setting specific goals will guide your interactions and help you measure the event’s effectiveness post-attendance.

Quality Over Quantity

While it may be tempting to meet as many people as possible, quality connections often trump quantity. Engage in meaningful conversations where you can genuinely offer and receive value. Listen attentively and show genuine interest in others’ businesses and challenges.

Follow Up Promptly

The magic of networking often happens after the event. Follow up with new contacts within 48 hours while the conversation is still fresh. Personalise your communication, referencing specific discussion points from your encounter, and propose a clear next step, such as a meeting or a call.

Leverage Social Media

Use social media platforms to connect with attendees before, during, and after the event. Join event-related groups or discussions, share your insights, and contribute to the conversation. This digital networking can amplify your presence and keep you top of mind.

Be a Connector

Position yourself as a valuable resource by connecting people who could benefit from knowing each other. This not only helps others but also establishes you as a well-connected and generous professional, which can pay dividends in the long run.

Evaluate and Adapt

After the event, take the time to evaluate your experiences against your objectives. What worked well, and what could be improved? Use these insights to refine your approach for future events.

Elsby Networking Opportunities

For SMEs in Northamptonshire, Elsby & Co is not just an accountancy firm but also a hub for networking. We run our own events designed to bring together local businesses, offering a platform to share knowledge, foster collaborations, and drive mutual growth. By attending Elsby & Co’s networking events, you can tap into a community of like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs who are keen to connect and support each other.

Networking events can be a powerful tool for SMEs to expand their horizons and forge meaningful business relationships. By preparing thoroughly, setting clear goals, focusing on quality interactions, following up effectively, leveraging social media, being a connector, and continuously evaluating your approach, you can maximise the value of these opportunities. Remember, Elsby & Co not only provides expert financial guidance but also creates spaces for SMEs to thrive through networking. Make these events an integral part of your growth strategy and watch your business flourish.

Remember, each handshake, each conversation, could be the seedling of your next business milestone.

Join us at our next Networking event on Wednesday 24th March at Pizzeria Venezia, Rushden – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/elsby-networking-lunch-tickets-852835212077


Spring Budget 2024

Yesterday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his ‘Budget for Long Term Growth’. His speech promised ‘more investment, more jobs, better public services and lower taxes’ but what did Elsby Co-Founder & Partner really make of it?

A view from the Boss

The main budget announcement is the 2% drop in National Insurance for employees and the self employed. Reaction to this seems to be very muted, across all parties, with the question being asked whether this is properly funded, when public services clearly need investment. Whatever your views on this, my job is to assess the impact for clients. This changes the assessment of whether small businesses, for example, should trade through a limited company or as sole traders or partnerships. Companies can now pay corporation tax up to 25%, with extra dividend tax of 8.75% on the remaining 75% of profits, when distributed to the owners, meaning that the overall tax rate can be 31.5% for basic rate taxpayers. This compares with 26% for unincorporated businesses. There is much more to it – variances on the tax situation depending on circumstances, and possible benefits in a company environment where funds can be retained in the company. This is something our staff will be assessing for you in due course.

There is good news for Child Benefit recipients – the thresholds have been raised, and from 2026, they will be based on household income – this should resolve an anomaly where a family with one main earner can be penalised.

On property, good and bad news: the higher rate of CGT on Buy to Let properties comes down from 28% to 24%, but if you own a furnished holiday let, the tax benefits are being withdrawn from 2025.

One final comment on VAT – the registration threshold has remained the same for a few years now, which in inflationary times, brings more businesses into the VAT regime. The threshold is being raised by £5000, and although described in the press as insignificant, it is better than it remaining static.

I read a comment in the press, from a member of the public, saying “There was nothing earth shattering in that.” I’m not being funny but is there ever? The most notable aspect is that the Tories intend to abolish NI completely as it is a double tax. I thought it was to fund certain public services – was I mistaken? Completely Nuts!

And that means I win a bet with my son, by ending my Budget commentary with the word “nuts”.

Carl Elsby


Download our full breakdown of the Spring Budget 2024 here – Elsby and Co Spring Budget 2024

Exciting Changes at Elsby & Co!

A SENIOR accountant with decades of experience has joined a well-established Northamptonshire accountancy firm at an exciting time in its history.

Dominic Graham joined Elsby & Co at the beginning of the year, having worked in accountancy in Northamptonshire for nearly two decades.

He said: “I have always followed Elsby & Co’s activities in the media and on social media and thought they were a good company.They are very focused on their clients and take a holistic approach to working with them. They provide far more than just end of year accounts followed by a bill – they take the time to really get to know their clients.”

“That approach resonated with me because that is how I have always worked. I like to build strong relationships with my clients because I want to help them develop their business and achieve their ambitions.”

As well as supporting clients, Dominic will use his years of experience to help junior members of staff.

”I am really enjoying getting to know the team and going forward I’ll be helping junior members to build up their own knowledge and support them with their training,” Dominic said.

“It is a great time to join Elsby & Co. The company is growing and it is really exciting to be a part of that.”

In 2023, during its 30th anniversary year, the firm grew its client base and expanded its range of services.

This year there are more changes on the horizon with the firm splitting away from its former Sywell base. Going forward, Elsby & Co will be based solely in Rushden.

Partner Claire Emery said: “There are lots of positive changes happening at the firm but as far as our clients are concerned it is business as usual and they will continue to receive the high levels of customer service that are at the heart of everything we do.

“We were delighted to welcome Dominic to our team and are planning to take on more apprentices this year as we continue to grow our business.”

For more information, email Elsby & Co at help@elsbyandco.co.uk, call 0330 053 9189 or visit www.elsbyandco.co.uk


This is an abridged article from Business Times – Exciting changes at growing accountancy firm – Business Times (business-times.co.uk)

Find out more about Dominic and the Elsby team here – Meet the Elsby & Co Team (elsbyandco.co.uk)

Accountancy firm leads the way in supporting young business people

Elsby & Co, who has helped dozens of apprentices to develop successful accountancy careers has been asked to judge a prestigious Young Business Person of the Year award.

Award-winning Northamptonshire firm of Chartered Accountants Elsby & Co has a strong training programme and in recent months several of its younger staff members have achieved exam success and promotions. Now it has been named as a judge for the Young Business Person of the Year category at the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards.

Partner Leona Bateman said: “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring and judging the Young Business Person category because we’re passionate about helping young staff members to develop. A year ago, we appointed a dedicated Learning and Development Manager who has produced robust training plans to enable our staff, including our talented apprentices, to reach their full potential. She’s also launched a fantastic programme for our work placement students which is creating a vibrant pipeline of future apprentices for us.” She went on to say, “We also have senior managers with huge amounts of training experience who are delivering refreshers on exam technique and are incredibly generous about sharing their knowledge and expertise with our younger team members.”

In addition, the firm offers structured, monthly one-to-one sessions with line managers to help staff develop and provides a range of soft skills training through its ‘Lunch and Learn’ events, podcasts and recorded presentations. Most recently the firm has been celebrating the achievements of its apprentices Ryan Panther and Niamh Standen and former apprentice Evan Fennell.

Niamh passed AAT exam: Introduction to Bookkeeping and then AAT Principles of Bookeeping Controls with an incredible mark of 96 per cent. Ryan successfully completed his AAT L3 Management Accounting Techniques examination and Evan has flown through his first examinations and been promoted to an L3 Trainee.

Evan said: “Everyone at Elsby & Co has been so supportive and offered me expert training and advice. It’s great to be part of such a welcoming, kind and helpful team and I’m so proud to have passed my first exams.”

The Young Business Person of the Year award celebrates business people aged 30 or less, who have demonstrated a high degree of entrepreneurship, creativity and vision for the future. To enter the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards visit https://eventsandpr.co.uk/sme-northamptonshire-business-awards/

For more information about Elsby & Co visit: https://www.elsbyandco.co.uk/

Read the full article here – Accountancy firm leads the way in supporting young business people – Business In The Midlands

Unlocking Success: The Crucial Role of Accountants in Business

In the dynamic and competitive world of business, success is often measured by profitability, growth, and sustainability. Behind the scenes, accountants play a pivotal role in shaping the financial health of a company, contributing significantly to its overall success. Beyond number crunching and financial reporting, accountants serve as strategic partners, providing invaluable insights and guidance to decision-makers. This blog explores the multifaceted role of accountants in driving business success.

Financial Management

At the core of a business’s success lies effective financial management. Accountants are responsible for maintaining accurate and up-to-date financial records, tracking income and expenses, and ensuring compliance with accounting standards and regulations. By meticulously managing financial data, accountants empower businesses to make informed decisions and allocate resources wisely.

Budgeting and Planning

Accountants are instrumental in the budgeting and planning process, helping businesses set realistic financial goals and objectives. Through careful analysis of past performance and market trends, accountants assist in creating budgets that align with the company’s strategic vision. This proactive approach enables businesses to allocate resources efficiently, mitigate risks, and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Risk Management

Identifying and managing financial risks is a critical aspect of business success. Accountants assess potential risks associated with financial decisions and transactions, providing insights that help businesses make informed choices. Whether it’s evaluating investment opportunities or navigating changes in tax regulations, accountants play a key role in mitigating risks and safeguarding the financial well-being of the company.

Compliance and Regulations:

Navigating the complex landscape of financial regulations and compliance requirements is a challenge for any business. Accountants stay abreast of changing regulations, ensuring that businesses adhere to legal and financial standards. This not only prevents costly penalties but also fosters a culture of transparency and accountability, building trust among stakeholders.

Strategic Decision Support

Accountants go beyond the traditional role of record-keeping and financial reporting. They act as strategic partners, providing decision-makers with data-driven insights that influence the overall direction of the business. Through financial analysis, accountants contribute to strategic planning, helping businesses identify areas for growth, cost-saving opportunities, and optimal investment strategies.

Performance Measurement and Analysis

Success in business is often measured by key performance indicators (KPIs). Accountants develop and monitor financial KPIs, offering a clear picture of a company’s performance. By analyzing these metrics, businesses can identify areas of improvement, capitalize on strengths, and adapt to changing market conditions, fostering continuous improvement and sustained success.


In the intricate web of business operations, accountants emerge as unsung heroes, playing a central role in the success of an organization. Their expertise extends beyond number-crunching to encompass strategic decision support, risk management, and compliance. As businesses navigate the complexities of the modern economy, recognizing and valuing the contributions of accountants is essential for achieving sustained growth and prosperity. The success of a business is not just about the products or services it offers but also about the financial acumen that underpins its every move.

Elsby & Co, with our blend of expertise, innovation, client-centricity, and trustworthiness, steps into the limelight. For businesses seeking a partner rather than just a service provider, Elsby & Co becomes the orchestrator of success, crafting financial symphonies that resonate with prosperity. As you navigate the intricate journey of business, remember that behind every successful enterprise is a strategic partnership with an accountant—a partnership that Elsby & Co is ready to embark on with you.


Carl Elsby, our founding Partner, with over 30 years of running a small business, and advising businesses of many shapes and sizes, had this to say:

“Imagine two businesses:
One is disorganised, everyone is running around chasing their tails, the finances are never up to date, the owner (nor staff) never knows how they are doing, just that cash flow is always tight. Because cash flow is tight, they never get their accounts done until the last minute, and never contact their accountant for advice. Even if they did, they wouldn’t act on advice because they are too busy.

The other is very organised and disciplined. Their finances are up to date, always. They have invested in good systems which minimise work. They work with their accountants a lot more. Their accountants help them prepare annual budgets and forecasts, which take into account their aspirations. These help provide clear focus for the whole team, and the owner instantly knows if performance is below expectations, and can act upon it. Their accountant is part of the team, knows everything that is going on, and can provide great advice and feedback at any moment. In fact he challenges the owner with new thoughts and ideas, and brings his experience of other businesses to help find solutions to problems, and to identify potential problems before they become one! Sure, this company has a larger accountancy cost, but despite that, is still a lot more successful.”

Which one would you rather be?


If you’d like to speak to one of the team – get in touch! Call us on 0330 053 9189 or email – help@elsbyandco.co.uk

You find out all about the services we offer here.

Outstanding customer service leads to growth in business

Elsby & Co saw its client base grow during its 30th anniversary year thanks to its unwavering commitment to customer service.

Elsby & Co launched in 1993 in a back bedroom of a Northampton home and has gone on to employ more than 60 accounting professionals at its offices in Sywell and Rushden who work with clients ranging from sole traders to large SMEs.

Last year, it welcomed a variety of new clients after launching a series of services and initiatives that provide businesses with high levels of customer service and far more than the normal compliance service provided by most accountancy firms.

Partner Claire Emery pictured says: “We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with clients and we’re not surprised that our biggest source of new business comes from client referrals because customer service is at the heart of everything we do.

“These relationships are as important to us now as they were when we set out on our journey in 1993 because our aspiration is to be the only accountant our clients will ever need – or wish to consult – throughout the lifetime of their business and beyond. To this end, we’ve launched exciting new services, including Elsby Wealth Management and our Business Hub which takes care of clients’ back-office finance functions and provides real-time management accounts information and regular strategy meetings.”

“Throughout 2023, we also ran affordable networking events to give Northamptonshire businesses the opportunity to forge strong relationships with one another. We do things like this because we’re always looking for ways to improve our customer service and support our clients with their growth aspirations.”

The firm has also recently launched Elsby Corporate Finance and Elsby Estate Planning Services.

Elsby Corporate Finance helps clients with acquisitions, succession planning, corporate and commercial finance, business sales and valuations, strategic planning and corporate development.

Elsby Estate Planning Services partners with JP Estate Planning to help clients with wills, bloodline planning, power of attorney, trusts and probate and care home advice.

The firm has also employed a dedicated training and development manager who has been working with Elsby & Co’s teams to further improve the customer experience provided by the firm.

Elsby & Co clients have access to a secure dedicated client portal.

For more information, email Elsby & Co at help@elsbyandco.co.uk, call 0330 053 9189 or visit www.elsbyandco.co.uk


This is an abridged version of the Elsby article featured in the Business Times – Outstanding customer service leads to growth in business – Business Times (business-times.co.uk)

How you can reduce your tax by claiming on business expenses

As a sole trader or freelancer, it’s crucial to understand your basic allowable expenses—even if you’re paying an accountant to help with your tax return. You can claim tax back on some of the costs of running your business—what HMRC calls allowable expenses. These appear as costs in your business accounts deducted from the profit you pay tax on.

Expenses can reduce the average sole trader’s tax bill—often significantly.

For example, if your turnover is £80,000 and you claim £20,000 in allowable expenses, you only pay tax on the remaining £60,000—a substantial saving.

You can also use simplified expenses. These flat rates allow you to quickly calculate tax relief on vehicles, working from home and living on your business premises. It can make working your expenses significantly easier.

On the Gov.uk website, you can find the most common expenses you can claim for self-employed and the most common expenses you can claim for if you rent out a property.


Self-employed allowable expenses list

Below, we cover some of the things you can claim for. To reiterate, we assume you’re using cash basis accounting, as the rules for traditional accounting can be slightly different. You can add these figures to your Self Assessment tax return.


Office equipment and tools

You can claim expenses for business equipment such as laptops, PCs, printers, and computer software that your business has used for less than two years. You can’t claim tax back on small tools.

Stationery and communications

As well as the usual paper, envelopes and pens, you can also claim back tax on postage and printing, including the costs of printer ink and cartridges you use as part of your business. With more businesses now trading online, this allowance also applies to electronic communications – so you can claim tax back on your business phone, mobile and internet bills.

Phone and internet

If you use your phone, mobile and internet for personal and business use, you’ll need to demonstrate a realistic way of dividing the costs and can only claim tax back on the part for business use. You can’t claim any tax back if you can’t show this.

Professional and financial services

If you get advice from an accountant, lawyer or other professional as part of your business, you can claim tax back on their fees. You can also claim allowable expenses for hiring surveyors and architects for your business—not for personal home improvements.

If you have a business bank account, you can claim tax relief on bank, overdraft and credit card charges or interest on business loans. You can also claim tax back on hire purchase, lease, or other financial payments for equipment you use in your business.

Staff and employee costs

You can claim tax relief on employee and staff salaries, bonuses, pensions, benefits, staff and employee costs, agency fees, subcontractors, and employer’s National Insurance contributions.

Travel costs

You can claim allowable expenses if you need to travel for business, including train, bus, taxi, airfares, and accommodation costs. But these only apply if the primary reason for your journey or stay was for business.

If you take a trip that combines business and pleasure, you can only claim tax relief on costs you can show are separate from the private part of your journey. If you can’t split up the costs, you can’t claim tax relief on any part.

Car and vehicle costs

If you use a vehicle as part of your business, you can claim tax relief for expenses such as petrol, insurance, and repairs.

Mileage allowance

As a self-employed person, you can add up all your motor expenses for the year and work out the separate business element of the total cost. However, keeping track and working this out takes time and effort.

Instead, you can claim mileage allowance, a simplified expense that lets you calculate the costs of running your vehicle. Other vehicle-related areas you can claim expenses on include:

  • Congestion and low-emission zone charges
  • Parking
  • Breakdown cover
  • Hire charges.

Again, tax relief only applies to these if they are business rather than private expenses. You can’t claim tax back on parking fines or other fines incurred while driving. There’s no tax relief for breaking the law.

Food and clothing

Everybody needs food and clothing, but claiming for them on expenses depends on what you’re using them for.


Generally, you can’t claim for clothing if you’d wear it as part of an everyday wardrobe. So, even if you’ve bought a suit for work, you can’t claim for its cost. But, if you must buy a uniform that identifies what you do or needs special protective clothing to do your job, you can claim for that.

You can’t claim for non-uniform items such as shoes and socks. If you’re an entertainer, and the clothes you’re buying are a costume for a stage, TV or film performance, then you can claim tax relief on those.

Clowns, magicians, acrobats and Elvis impersonators – we bet HMRC enjoys reading your clothing claims!


If you wear a uniform or special protective clothing, you can claim expenses if you wash, repair, or replace it.


You can only claim money back on food and drink if it’s a business expense, meaning it must be outside your usual working routine, such as a business trip.

Stock and materials

You can claim tax back on the following:

  • Items that you resell, such as stock
  • Raw materials that you use to make goods for sale
  • Direct costs from producing goods.

Marketing and advertising

You can claim tax back on the costs of advertising and marketing your business, including costs for hosting and maintaining your company website.

But beware, you may think that treating a customer or supplier to lunch is ‘marketing’, but HMRC considers it as ‘entertaining’, which you can’t claim tax back for.

If you’re a member of a professional trade body or organisation as part of your business, you can claim tax relief on your membership fees. Subscriptions to trade or professional journals are also allowable expenses, so claim for those.

Pension contributions

Contributions to your pension are not a business expense, so they don’t affect your self-employed profits. However, you are eligible for tax relief on any contributions you make, which you can claim on your tax return.


Find out more about our Personal Tax Account services here – Personal Tax Accountants Northampton | Elsby & Co (elsbyandco.co.uk)

If you need help with your Self Assessment and tax return, get in touch today – email help@elsbyandco.co.uk

Growing audit team appoints new senior manager

Award-winning accountancy firm has welcomed a new key member of staff to its growing audit team.

Elsby & Co, which has bases in Sywell and Rushden, has appointed Sue Halsall as its new Audit Senior Manager. Sue brings with her a wealth of experience having worked as an audit manager for 22 years and as a training manager.


Audit Manager – Sue Halsall
Leona Bateman – Partner










She said: “After university I got a job with the Northampton office of a Top 20 firm and did my training there before moving to another firm where I was Audit Manager, working in all sorts of fields but primarily in limited company audits.”

“I was also Training Manager at my previous firm and training is something I’m incredibly passionate about. This is the perfect time for me to join Elsby & Co because the audit side of the business here is growing and I’m excited about playing a part in driving that forward and shaping what happens here next.”

“We have a fantastic team, ranging from trainees at the start of their career to more senior members of staff, and I’m relishing sharing my years of experience with them. It truly is a collaborative team – everyone trains one another and shares their knowledge generously and that’s really nice to see.”

Elsby & Co’s core auditing services include statutory audits, charity audits and other specialist audits. Elsby & Co Partner Leona Bateman added: “Auditing is a growing area for firms of our size and it’s an expanding area for us.

“We may be smaller than the Top 10 firms which also offer audit services, but we follow the same auditing standards. We offer a friendly and personal service. We also recognise that often when companies are audited their perception is this is an expensive process but a necessary evil and they often don’t feel they get any benefit from it.”

“We always seek to add value for our clients so when we carry out an audit, they not only get an audited set of financial statements, but they also receive a management letter and we make suggestions to help them to improve their systems and controls and discuss any risks within their business. We want to be a critical friend to them who is always there to guide them in the right direction.”


For further information contact Leona Bateman at leona.bateman@elsbyandco.co.uk or Sue Halsall at sue.halsall@elsbyandco.co.uk


To find out more about Elsby & Co Audit services, visit Audits | Elsby & Co (elsbyandco.co.uk)


This is an abridged version of the Elsby article featured in the Business Times – Digital Issues Archive – Business Times (business-times.co.uk)

Proud to be a Real Living Wage Accredited Employer

At Elsby & Co, we believe that fair wages are the cornerstone of a just and thriving society. We are thrilled to announce that we have been accredited as a Real Living Wage employer, a testament to our unwavering commitment to providing our employees with a wage that reflects the true cost of living. This achievement aligns perfectly with our core values and our dedication to creating a workplace where everyone can flourish.

What is the Real Living Wage?

The Real Living Wage is a voluntary hourly rate set independently, based on the cost of living, and is higher than the government’s minimum wage. It ensures that individuals and families can meet their basic needs, including housing, food, and transportation, without struggling to make ends meet. By becoming a Real Living Wage employer, we are taking a significant step towards reducing income inequality and improving the well-being of our employees.

Our Commitment to Fair Wages

Our decision to pursue Real Living Wage accreditation was driven by our belief that our employees are our most valuable asset. We recognize that their hard work, dedication, and talent are the driving force behind our success. By paying a Real Living Wage, we are not just complying with legal requirements; we are investing in the financial security and overall quality of life of our team members.

What This Means for Our Team

For our employees, this accreditation means a fair wage that reflects their dedication and the rising cost of living. It means peace of mind, the ability to provide for their families, and the freedom to focus on their careers and personal growth without the constant worry of financial instability. We want our team members to know that we value their contributions, and this accreditation is a tangible demonstration of that appreciation.

Join Us in Celebrating

We are excited to join the community of Real Living Wage accredited employers and contribute to a more equitable society. Our commitment to fair wages is unwavering, and we invite you to celebrate this achievement with us. Together, we can foster a workplace where employees can thrive, and the future looks brighter for everyone.

Thank you for to our Partners for their ongoing support, and stay tuned for more updates on how we are working to make a positive impact in the lives of our employees and our community.

Read more about our Values here – Corby Accountants : Rushden Accountants : Our Values at Elsby & Co (elsbyandco.co.uk)

Can a staff Summer event impact the staff Christmas Party?

With the Christmas party season upon us for many, we are often asked about what can be claimed and what the impact is when an annual summer staff event is added to the mix!

So, here’s the burning question – My client is currently planning their staff Christmas party. This year they have started to hold an annual staff summer event as well. Therefore, will the Christmas party now become a taxable benefit each year and not be able to benefit from the exemption?

ITEPA 2003, s. 264  details an income tax exemption for annual functions. The exemption is not restricted only to a Christmas party, it can used for alternative annual functions during the year. The exemption must be used for annual functions so for functions that can happen again the following year. For example, the exemption cannot be used for a one-off function such as the 10th anniversary of a business.

Another condition of the exemption is that the function must be open to all employees or all employees in one particular location.

The total value for an annual function which is exempt from income tax is £150 per head.  ITEPA 2003, s. 264(3)  explains that if more than one annual function is held within in a tax year, the cost of both functions will remain exempt from income tax as long as the combined cost per person for both functions does not exceed £150 per head.

For example, if the client’s summer party cost was £50 per head, then as long as the cost per head at the Christmas party was £100 or below then both parties would be exempt from income tax as the combined cost of the parties per head is exactly £150.

If the combined cost does exceed £150 per person, then only one function cost will qualify for the exemption. The whole cost of the second function would become a taxable benefit to the employees, not just the excess above £150.

Therefore, if the combined £150 per person limit is breached, the benefit of the second function needs to be reported as such to HMRC. This can be done via payrolling the benefit if the client has registered for this or by submitting a P11D form for each employee that attended. Alternatively, the cost of the second function could be reported on a PAYE settlement agreement with the approval of HMRC so the employee is not impacted by an additional taxable benefit.

When calculating the cost of the function per head, the VAT and the cost of transport and/or overnight accommodation if the employer is providing this must also be included. The total cost of the function can be divided into the total number of attendees including non-employees to arrive at the cost per head.

Further information can be found in  EIM21690  with examples of how the exemption can be used in  EIM21691 .