Streaming on YouTube can be more than just a fun, creative outlet – YouTubers can make serious money by connecting with the right audience and sourcing novel streams of revenue. Many YouTubers are going full-time with their channels – what starts as a fun collection of videos can turn into a fully-fledged business with the right steps.
But when it comes to deducting business expenses, what exactly can you claim? As accountants who specialise in YouTubers, we’ve done a quick FAQ on some common expenses for YouTubers below that we hope will help guide you on the correct path. As always, be sure to document all expenses thoroughly and keep your receipts! This will make things easier come tax time.
What can YouTubers claim on expenses?
Most expenses that are tied directly to your business, and necessary for its function, are claimable. However, there are a few things that can be a little tricky to figure out.
Can YouTubers claim cameras on their taxes?
Absolutely. Cameras, lights, and other filmmaking equipment are key parts of your business, so you can claim them as expenses. This is probably the most clear-cut example of a business expense for YouTubers.
Can YouTubers claim props and backgrounds?
Yes – these are directly related to the production of your product (videos), so are absolutely claimable on your expenses.
Can YouTubers claim editing software?
Yes – the editing process is essential in creating your videos, and any video editing software packages/subscriptions can be claimed on your taxes as an expense.
Can YouTubers claim clothing as an expense?
Generally, no. Clothing can be seen as a general living expense, so most items of clothing are not seen as an expense. However, any “branded” clothing or pieces that are essential to your image are claimable. It’s a fine line – consult a YouTuber tax expert for more information.
Can YouTubers claim a home office on their expenses?
Yes. A home office is a great example of something that should be claimed as an expense for YouTubers. If you also use the space for personal reasons, you may have to only file a partial claim, though.
Can YouTubers claim stock footage on their expenses?
Yes. Many YouTube channels rely heavily on stock footage, especially ones that are built around narration or education. Claiming for stock footage on your taxes is completely valid – but make sure you have the rights to use the images/videos you download in your videos. Just because you purchase a film doesn’t mean you have the right to put it in a video, and video rights contracts can be extremely complex.
Can YouTubers claim personal hygiene expenses (i.e., haircuts, makeup, nails, etc.)?
Yes and no. You can claim any personal hygiene expenses when they are directly correlated to a specific job. For example, if a video requires you to get a specific haircut, it can be claimed as an expense. For everyday personal maintenance, you cannot.
Can YouTubers claim cell phone and internet bills?
Much like the home office, this will likely be a partial deduction. You will need to keep track of your call log and internet usage specifically tied to your YouTube channel, and can then claim a percentage of the total bills.
Can YouTubers claim travel expenses?
Yes – but only if they are specifically tied to your YouTube channel and the production of videos/attendance of business meetings. Keep a log of any travel expenses that are business-related, and don’t claim more than you are eligible for.
Call The Showbiz Accountant for help with expenses
If you want to learn more about what expenses you can or cannot claim, contact The Showbiz Accountant to get a free 15-minute review. If you aren’t properly claiming your expenses, you can either miss out on thousands of pounds or worse – get a visit from the taxman. Make sure that you have everything behind the camera sorted out, so you can shine in front of it.