I have been asked by a client to work on-site for a period in order to complete a project due to the confidential nature of it.

However, my office is registered at my home address - can I still claim expenses which occur during this period or must I omit them in this instance? For example, must I deduct, say, the amount of energy I use at my office/home for the five days that I am based at the client's site?

FYI: I am based in London, England (UK)


I am not asking if I should bill my client for the amount of expenses incurred; I merely want to know if I need to deduct the amount of energy, etc., used during the period whilst I am working at my client's premises.

  • i think you should add them because if it wasn't for this job you most likely be doing it in your home office. Think of as company requesting you to work at different office for a while for xyz reason ( renovation, proximity to important client )...does this mean that their main office stop being a legitimate expense. Now if you stay away for like 2 months then i'd say yes after that reconsider. Not a legal advice though :D May 24, 2014 at 16:05

4 Answers 4


Although I have no web reference to back this up, I would still write off the part of my home used as an office. Remember, you may need to do paperwork back there as well, right? You aren't renting it out as a room to someone else, and it is required of your business.

Just because you don't use the desktop computer at home for your business everyday, doesn't mean you don't write it off when it's primarily used for your business, correct?

  • You make a very good point indeed; even though this makes perfect sense, I am still unfortunately nonethewiser!
    – SnookerFan
    May 23, 2014 at 8:24

I think it's reasonable to continue to claim expenses for your home office even when you are temporarily away.

There are likely resources in your office that are still in use even if you are not there physically every day such as storage space for filing, and books etc.

Potentially you may have a server or desktop in the office that you can access remotely.

You might even use the printer at the end of the day when you are back at home.

If you were working away on a 6 month contract, it might be hard to justify home office expenses but perfectly reasonable for a few weeks away if the home office is your normal place of work.


No. Your office expenses (energy, phone, internet, etc) are overhead costs and will not be reflected on an invoice.

However, if the client agrees to pay for mileage, lodging, materials, or any special services required specifically for the project (printing, etc), then these are things that you should put on the invoice.

  • Yes, I understand this; however, my question focuses more on general expenses which aren't specific to any one client - do I still have to calculate and then deduct the amount of energy, etc., that I use at my home office during the period that I am with the client? I am not asking if I should bill my client for the amount of expenses incurred. I will also update my question to make it a little clearer. Also, any references you have for your answer would be wonderful to take a look at if you would kindly provide them. Many thanks.
    – SnookerFan
    May 23, 2014 at 8:10
  • I would say no just because the amount of effort it would take to determine that properly. I would say pick a base price that gives you enough work/pay and just stick to that. Talk to them about mileage/lodging/whatever before you sign anything, but electricity should just be included in your base price. May 24, 2014 at 5:16
  • 1
    i think he's talking about taxes May 24, 2014 at 16:06

Your office expenses are a cost of being in business at all for ALL of the year. Your accountant should know this.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.