UK tax return: is a French course an allowable expense although I translate only into German?
Thread poster: Sonja Allen

Sonja Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:42
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Sep 13, 2005

I have just enrolled in a French A level course at my local college. I would like to build up my French over the next years and maybe take a translator's exam in the end. Would the tax man allow me to claim the cost of the courses as an allowable expense in my tax return, although the nature of my business is currently only translations into German? Who has got a similar experience?


Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:42
German to English
Although I've no experience of this directly... Sep 13, 2005

...I think it would be allowable, especially as you can demonstrate a business development angle. If your business description is "translator" rather than more specifically "D>E translator" then even better.


Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:42
German to English
+ ...
I'd put fair money on it Sep 13, 2005


Who is eligible?

Vocational training relief is available on certain payments made by individuals for their own vocational training. That is, training done to get the skills needed for an occupation, trade or profession.

Relief is available to taxpayers and non-taxpayers, and is given by deducting tax relief at the basic rate from their fees before they pay them. Those who pay higher-rate tax can claim further relief on their tax return or by writing to their tax office.

Individuals can only claim tax relief if:
They are resident in the UK for tax purposes during the year in which payment is made;
They are not receiving, or entitled to receive, financial assistance (that is, a loan or grant) for a course under a Government Scheme;
They are paying for the training themselves."

(I'm afraid that is not staggeringly recent, but you might find a better one. Otherwise ring up your local CAB.

I'm sure they don't care about the languages. If you were a carpenter and wanted to train in cabinet making, marquetry etc., what do you think they'd say?

Good luck


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree Sep 13, 2005

Daniel Bird wrote:

If your business description is "translator" rather than more specifically "D>E translator" then even better.

None too sure how sole traders are classified in the UK, but I fall under a heading that reads "translators and interpreters". I take language lessons and a percentage of my courses are deductible.


Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:42
French to English
Seems reasonable Sep 13, 2005

However, having taken a quick look at the Revenue's notes for Self Employment that came with 2005's self-assessment form, I can't see where you'd put it other than under "Other expenses", which *may* draw attention to it and prompt them to ask you to justify it.
And once they've *started* to take at look at your figures, who knows where they'll stop....?icon_frown.gif

I should point out that I am by nature a cautious person and tend to adopt an "anything for the easy life" approach, so I tend to simplify or leave out anything that looks like it could be contentious, e.g. I know you *can* claim for things without having the receipt, but I couldn't be bothered to argue the toss with the revenue if they wanted to make a big deal of it, so I don't bother.

I would recommend having a look at some of the excellent tax guides available from your local library, they're always a good source of tips (e.g. what you can and can't claim for if you work from home was something I found very useful last year), and it's freeicon_smile.gif - it's not worth buying one, 'cos it'll all change next yearicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2005-09-13 18:21]


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:42
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Why don-t you call your tax-authority and ask? Sep 14, 2005

At least here in Finland tax-people are very friendly and hand out even pre-emptive decisions about taxation.
I just engaged in a language class too and will deduce the cost without hesitation, under the same title as my dictionaries I purchase.



To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

UK tax return: is a French course an allowable expense although I translate only into German?

Advanced search

Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search