Can I Claim the Cost of the Course Against My Self Employed Earnings?

Q. I am a self employed dentist wanting to expand my knowledge and specialise in a particular branch of dentistry. I have discovered that there is a part time course at my local university which will enable me to continue working. The cost is £25,000 and it will take three years to get the qualification. Can I claim the cost of the course against my self employed earnings?

A: The real question to consider is whether the expenditure is capital or revenue. Expenditure incurred by the proprietor of a business on training courses for themselves is revenue expenditure if the course merely updates existing expertise or knowledge. Expenditure on a course which provides new expertise or knowledge is capital. The course appears to be for the acquisition of new skills, rather than the updating of existing ones and if this is the case then the expense is capital and disallowable.

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