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self assessment expenses?
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# 1
Old 16-11-2008, 11:41 PM
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Default self assessment expenses?

In the last tax year I was self employed for 3 months, albeit contracting for a single company and working at their offices full time.

As I was self employed for the purposes of tax, and this other company was technically my client, am I able to claim the cost of travel to their premises as expenses?

I'm not sure if their offices would be classed as my place of work, rather than my clients place of work.

If it is possible to claim, what would I need to evidence this? I have the dates and mileage.

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# 2
Old 16-11-2008, 11:47 PM
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I don't think it is allowable but the beauty of the self-assessment system is that the IR generally aren't too interested in the detail if you self-employment turnover <15k net of cost of sales...unless you are investigated.

Last edited by VfM4meplse; 17-11-2008 at 12:03 AM.
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# 3
Old 17-11-2008, 12:09 AM
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I didn't think you were allowed to claim for the cost of travel to and from place of work, even if you are self-employed? As a part-time teacher at several schools, a few years ago, I found I was not allowed to claim for the cost of my travel to the schools, or between them. Doesn't it only becomes allowable if the travelling itself is an integral part of the job?
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# 4
Old 18-11-2008, 11:11 PM
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That's what I thought, but I'm wondering what they mean by place of work.

The SA guidelines says these are allowable expenses:

Car and van insurance, repairs, servicing, fuel, parking, hire charges, vehicle
licence fees, motoring organisation membership; train, bus, air and taxi fares;

hotel room costs and meals on overnight business trips
And these not allowable

Non-business motoring costs (private use proportions); fines; costs of buying

vehicles; travel costs between home and business; other meals
However my "business" address is my home, and the place I was working was not my business address, it was my clients business address, the normal place I work when doing self employed work is home.

Another look on the HMRC website has thrown this up, although it says this is for employees and directors rather than self-employed people.

What counts as business mileage?

Business mileage is mileage you travel doing your job. It can include travel to a temporary work place but it doesn't include:
  • normal travel between home (or anywhere that is not a workplace) and your permanent workplace
  • private travel

So I'm still not entirely sure, I don't want to claim for something I'm not entitled to even if the likelyhood is I could get away with it, but likewise, I don't see why I should pay more tax than necessary.
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# 5
Old 19-11-2008, 1:30 AM
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You could always ring your local tax office - somebody there will know, and you can probably talk about it without compromising your case, as you might if you phoned the tax inspector with the phone number on your return.
(if tax offices still exist?- I used to go to one in Brighton to drop in my tax return when I had missed the post!)
Just guessing, but I think they might say that if you were going to this company every day for 3 months , then travel to it can't count as allowable because it's effectively your place of work for that time.
My "business address" as a piano teacher is also home, but I do very little teaching work there - I don't think I would be allowed to use schools' addresses as my self employed business address!
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# 6
Old 19-11-2008, 12:24 PM
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It might be worth looking at this section of the Revenue's internal manuals.

It is quite long but gives details of the reasoning in the case of Horton v Young. It is also aimed at self employment.

It seems to me the key element is that the workplace is temporary and the business was "itinerant". Now your situation is not so clear cut as you only worked for one client. But I think you may have a case that your business was "itinerant". You will need to show that had you continued with your self-employment then you would have worked at a succession of sites, each on a temporary basis.

May be worth thinking about?
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# 7
Old 19-11-2008, 1:10 PM
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Its all about what your intentions were when you started working at this site that will determine if it is classed as temporary or not.

If you had intended to be there for less than 24 months AND had intended to remain self employed and work at other sites as Elain has said it can be classed as a temporary workplace.

If you had intended to stop self employment at the end of the contract, it does not qualify as a temporary workplace due to the fixed term appointment rules.

So really you need to safely be able to say you had the intention of carrying on self employment after the contract had expired and you did not intend to spend more than 24 months at that site when you started the contract.
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# 8
Old 20-11-2008, 6:33 PM
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Hmmm, perhaps some more facts would help, especially as the first line of my first post is a bit misleading (it was late, and reading it again it's actually not the case at all, but I know what I meant lol)

I have been registered as self employed for a few years and doing the odd job here & there (from my home) in addition to employment. This contract came up at workplace B, at which point I stopped being an employee at workplace A, and assumed it would only be temporary, initially for 2 months then extended for the third.

After this period I was given a more permanent contract and became an employee of workplace B, but still registered as self employed for other external work.

That contract then finished about 9 months later, since which I have been self employed, although again, the majority of the work is with 1 company (not the same as before), where I work part of the time at their premises and part of the time from my home.

At the time my intentions were that it would be temporary, I was always registered as self employed and did do at least 1 other piece of work during that tax year.

That link was an interesting read elaine, thanks.

Assuming I could claim, what would I need as evidence?

Thanks all for your opinions so far.
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