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Old 11.05.2009, 12:08
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Self-employed - what expenses to claim?

I've read a couple of other posts on the forum about setting up as a sole trader and the fact that I can claim business expenses against my revenue.

It seems fairly obvious that if I buy a pen for my business, I can claim that cost, but what about things like rent, electricity and telephone arising from say, using a spare room in my house as an office? Also, business travel in my personal vehicle?

- Is there an acceptable 'forfait' system for this type of expense,
- or a formula for calculating?
- does it depend on the canton?
- do I just claim as much as I can and hope for the best?
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Old 11.05.2009, 12:16
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Re: Self-employed - what expenses to claim?

I don't know if you have already looked through this particular Thread. There might be something in it which would help.
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Old 11.05.2009, 12:44
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Re: Self-employed - what expenses to claim?

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I've read a couple of other posts on the forum about setting up as a sole trader and the fact that I can claim business expenses against my revenue.

It seems fairly obvious that if I buy a pen for my business, I can claim that cost, but what about things like rent, electricity and telephone arising from say, using a spare room in my house as an office? Also, business travel in my personal vehicle?

- Is there an acceptable 'forfait' system for this type of expense,
- or a formula for calculating?
- does it depend on the canton?
- do I just claim as much as I can and hope for the best?
Claim everything reasonable. Usually, the tax office scrutinizes the first tax declaration. If they object to certain deductions, you have a chance to explain your claim. The more documentation you have, the better. Collect all possible receipts, log every customer visit, etc.

After 1 or 2 iterations you might reach consensus with the tax office.

Alternatively, you can formulate an expense eligibility document "SpesenReglement" and submit in advance for approval. However, that is usually not worth doing for a 1-person firm.
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Old 11.05.2009, 23:21
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Re: Self-employed - what expenses to claim?

Quote:
View Post
I've read a couple of other posts on the forum about setting up as a sole trader and the fact that I can claim business expenses against my revenue.

It seems fairly obvious that if I buy a pen for my business, I can claim that cost, but what about things like rent, electricity and telephone arising from say, using a spare room in my house as an office? Also, business travel in my personal vehicle?

- Is there an acceptable 'forfait' system for this type of expense,
- or a formula for calculating?
- does it depend on the canton?
- do I just claim as much as I can and hope for the best?
Due to costs forming process in bookkeeping (I guess in any country or canton the same ) is looks like that:
1) you estimate how much of the "item" do you use privately and for business. Lets say, you use 1 room out of 4 rooms of your flat. That is 25% of the costs of your rent (+25% extra costs, if it is kitchen, then slightly different). You have 2 lamps, 1 computer, etc in this room, that uses .....x.... amount of electricity + you can add some amount to that for "entrance" light... Think what else is relevant for you. E.g. phone line, internet connection.... Try to make all the usage in %% private/business.
2) You list all of those costs and here you can divide them into constant and changing, that is: those, that depend on amount of your "production" activity (turnover, profit...) and those, that do not (electricity most likely will depend on amount of your business activity (or phone bills), room costs - not). That strongly depends on your end-product and business activity.
3).... hm... here I do not know how much I should write here... There are some formulas, but how deep and how exact do you want to calculate that? I do not think it will make sense to publish here the complete theory of cost-forming. Well, I can advise a good friend Google here... or.... you can also order exact calculation from me

But I think you got the point - the main for you is to estimate the usage of everything for business and private life. Hope this helps.
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Old 13.05.2009, 22:24
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Re: Self-employed - what expenses to claim?

For those who have a main job and also have some secondary freelance earnings (so-called "Nebenerwerb"), then a 20% flat rate deduction is permitted within certain limits.

So 20% expenses could be the pain threshold for the tax office. This is my speculation and not based on any data.
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