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Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 13606
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
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I am based in the Republic of Ireland. I am self-employed,

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I am based in the Republic of Ireland. I am self-employed, providing web design services and graphic design. I do my own tax returns annually and I am wondering if I can add the following items to my tax return as business expense:

1. The money I pay to get access learning resources (websites, books, online-courses) directly connected with skills required for my business i.e. I subscribe to lynda.com to learn how to make logos or design web applications

2. The money I pay to offer prizes in competitions to promote my business. i.e. "Like our Facebook page for a chance to win an iPad."

I researched a little bit on the internet and found that in many countries these count as business expense if they are directly connected with business in whole, but I am not sure about Ireland.

Robin D. :

Hello and thank you for using Just Answer,
If you looked at the Ireland tax site you may have found the following:


The general rule is that you cannot claim for any private expenses i.e.



  • Any expense, not wholly and exclusively paid for the purposes of the trade or profession

  • Any private or domestic expenditure e.g. your own wages, food, clothing (except protective clothing), income tax etc.

  • Business entertainment expenditure i.e. the provision of accommodation, food, drink or any other form of hospitality.

Robin D. :

Ireland does allow for expenses that are directly related to the business which you have incurred in order to earn your profits. These expenses are normally referred to as revenue expenditure.

Robin D. :

Any online fees that are directly related to the business (costs to have the site or access the net) would be allowed. I have to check just a little more on the deduction for on-line courses.

Robin D. :

There is a tax relief available in respect of fees paid by an individual for certain training courses in foreign language and information technology.

Robin D. :

To qualify for relief, the course must:



  • be an Information Technology or Foreign Language course (other than a postgraduate course)

  • be approved by FÁS

  • be of less than two years duration and

  • result in the awarding to successful candidates of a certificate of competence (and not just a certificate of attendance).

Robin D. :

You could use the expense if it meets the requirements. If it does not then you would not be allowe dthe cost.

Robin D. :

The other items are allowable as a direct revenue expenditure.

Robin D. :

My goal is to give you excellent service. If you are satisfied, please rate me. If you have follow-up questions on this same topic, use the reply box below. To start a new conversation with me on a new topic request me again.

Customer:

Hi Robin. I am not entirely happy with your answer. I am aware and studied the information on Revenue.ie regarding allowed business expenses and researched a bit on the web and could not find the answers to my question, that's why I am asking very specifically about these two expenses:

Customer:

1. online courses/education materails covering skills necessary to provide my services as a business

Customer:

2. promotional gifts/rewards offered to customers for marketing purposes

Customer:

I simply need a yes/no answer to the above.

Robin D. :

The #2 expense I thought I had been clear about. Those for marketing are most certainly allowed. That is an expense that is acceptable.

Customer:

Thanks... understood. What about the 1st expense? Let's say I need a course offered online to learn a new skill in web design to offer a new service to my customers. Is this a business expense or not? Thanks

Robin D. :

Not as a course under the regular allowance but if this is a subscription to your business (not to you personally) and it offers a service to your business (not just a course for you personally) then you could use it as a direct business expense. It would need to be clearly shown that your business is paying for a service form the other business.

Customer:

Thank you Robin. That makes it clear. I am happy with these answers. Have a good day.

Robin D. :

You are most welcome

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