It’s a rough galaxy out there, and the Galactic Credit in your leg-pouch doesn’t stretch nearly as far as it did before the dark times... before the Empire. With taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems still in dispute, it’s always worth making sure you’re not paying more than your share.

This Star Wars Day, we’re taking a look at the noble and ever-popular profession of bounty hunting. Sure, self-employed hunters have a reputation for working cash-in-hand out on the Outer Rim. Even so, the Empire will still want its cut of your turnover. Don’t think you can keep off the Imperial Revenue Service’s scanners forever. Making a living in the dead-or-alive business comes down to 2 simple things: keeping yourself in the Emperor’s good books and knowing your allowable expenses.

The first thing you’ll need to claim for is your licence, along with any professional subscriptions you’ve got. Bounty hunting duties often stray off into other areas, from Close Protection to Vehicle Immobilisation. Say your bounty is a Clawdite assassin, for instance. Your easiest way of catching her is by staking out her target. That’s a Close Protection gig, and it’s licensed by the Security Industry Association (SIA). That means your SIA licence and any uniform you need to wear would count as allowable expenses in your Self Assessment return.

Now let’s talk travel. You’re going to be moving around a lot as a bounty hunter. Suppose your bounty sneaks past an Imperial blockade at Hoth when the Star Destroyers dump their garbage before jumping to lightspeed. You’ve now got to track their ship the 1,150 light years to Bespin. If you’re employed full-time by the Empire, you could use that mileage as the basis of a hefty tax refund claim. If you’re self-employed, though, the costs directly reduce the profits you’ll be taxed on. Either way, you’ll want to keep a solid record of the parsecs you’re putting behind you in the course of your duties.

Once you’ve got your target cornered, you’ll be glad you kept track of all the little essential expenses you’ve been racking up. From the tibanna gas cartridges you’ve been reloading your blasters with to the restraining bolts you needed for that rogue droid repossession on Ord Mantell, it all mounts up over time. As a rule of thumb, if it’s a necessary and unavoidable cost of doing your job, then you can use it to bring down your tax bill or claim a refund. Don’t skimp on your armour repairs, either.

All your Personal Protective Equipment should be allowable as expenses, so do it right and get real beskar plate from Mandalore if you can. If you're one of the growing numbers of women getting into the space assassin game make sure you've got equipment properly designed to keep you safe as well. When in doubt, always ask “What Would Boba Do?” – and remember the Golden Rules of Bounty Hunting:

  • Always claim for your expenses.
  • Steer clear of Sarlacc pits.
  • No disintegrations.

Good luck, and may the Force be with you…