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  • FIRST POST
    • JamesFuller
    • By JamesFuller 6th Dec 17, 9:21 PM
    • 64Posts
    • 55Thanks
    JamesFuller
    Contracting questions for experienced contractors or accountants here
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:21 PM
    Contracting questions for experienced contractors or accountants here 6th Dec 17 at 9:21 PM
    Hello all,

    I have a friend very new to contracting so asking the following questions.

    1) What is the general acceptable amount you can claim for lunch when working 8hr days + 4 hours travel (total)?

    I suppose this depends on where they are and what they buy. In London it's expensive to buy lunch (portions small etc) compared to say countryside little towns.

    2) Is it possible to buy a smartphone and phone plan through LTD company? E.g. If you are VAT registered etc? Already have a business account and card. Do you just pay through this?

    3) Is it possible to claim on entertaining clients and general drinks expenses to generate business?

    4) What is an acceptable amount when it comes to staying in hotels? Again, this is about being reasonable. Obviously you don't want to stay in a dive but also not in Ritz either. Something reasonable.

    Most hotels cost £75-100 a night and my friend may be staying out of their own business expense 2-4 nights a week for 3-4 months.

    Appreciate I am asking lots of questions but I am learning and sometimes the answers are not always so clear reading on the web so I ask.
Page 1
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 6th Dec 17, 9:39 PM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 2,483 Thanks
    unforeseen
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:39 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:39 PM
    1. Nothing. HMRC have clamped down. You would need to buy lunch regardless or make and take your own. It is no longer an allowable expense without a good reason

    2. Yes

    3. Talk to your accountant on what you may be able to claim. Alcoholic drinks tend not to be claimable apart from possibly one with an evening meal if you are staying away

    4. Up to you what you pay as it depends where in the country you are, what time of the year any major events in the area pushing prices up etc.
    As an example, I had an arrangement with one hotel I stayed at regularly for a fixed price all year (around £75 p/n). Being Edinburgh then prices used to rocket when the festival was on but I still paid my normal rate AND they would always find me a room..

    It also depends on what you want out of a hotel. I now tend to use travelodge type places because they are cheap and I'll get my food elsewhere.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 6th Dec 17, 9:45 PM
    • 852 Posts
    • 1,699 Thanks
    happyandcontented
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:45 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:45 PM

    1. Nothing. HMRC have clamped down. You would need to buy lunch regardless or make and take your own. It is no longer an allowable expense without a good reason

    2. Yes

    3. Talk to your accountant on what you may be able to claim. Alcoholic drinks tend not to be claimable apart from possibly one with an evening meal if you are staying away

    4. Up to you what you pay as it depends where in the country you are, what time of the year any major events in the area pushing prices up etc.
    As an example, I had an arrangement with one hotel I stayed at regularly for a fixed price all year (around £75 p/n). Being Edinburgh then prices used to rocket when the festival was on but I still paid my normal rate AND they would always find me a room..

    It also depends on what you want out of a hotel. I now tend to use travelodge type places because they are cheap and I'll get my food elsewhere.
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    Our Accountant advises that £4-£5 per day is allowable and that is what is claimed. Subsistence for overnight stays is larger.

    OP your friend needs a good Accountant, unless he gets one he will miss out on a lot of tax breaks. It will cost less in the long run.
    • JamesFuller
    • By JamesFuller 6th Dec 17, 9:47 PM
    • 64 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    JamesFuller
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:47 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:47 PM
    Hi unforeseen, thanks for your reply.

    1. The work location is 60 miles away and have to travel 2.5hrs to get there and back. Would that be acceptable? This leaves very little time to make lunch or even have breakfast.

    2 -

    3 - Thanks

    4 - How did you do it? Do you have any tips making such arrangement? I would be looking at places like Travelodge / Premier Inn at £75 mark.

    -----------------

    5. How much can you claim for dinner? Let's say you do a takeaway and it cost around £15-£20 max.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 6th Dec 17, 10:05 PM
    • 3,129 Posts
    • 7,300 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 10:05 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 10:05 PM
    Our Accountant advises that £4-£5 per day is allowable and that is what is claimed. Subsistence for overnight stays is larger.

    OP your friend needs a good Accountant, unless he gets one he will miss out on a lot of tax breaks. It will cost less in the long run.
    Originally posted by happyandcontented
    The OP / friend has been advised to get a good accountant before - though the questions being asked suggests that advice is being ignored & the good people of MSE are stepping into the breech
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


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    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 6th Dec 17, 10:46 PM
    • 4,168 Posts
    • 6,856 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 10:46 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 10:46 PM
    The OP / friend has been advised to get a good accountant before - though the questions being asked suggests that advice is being ignored & the good people of MSE are stepping into the breech
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    ^^^This^^^

    When the advice you get is wrong, who is paying the bill? Your friend will. Trying to be cheap about it will potentially cost them a fortune.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 7th Dec 17, 6:27 PM
    • 852 Posts
    • 1,699 Thanks
    happyandcontented
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 17, 6:27 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 17, 6:27 PM
    Hi unforeseen, thanks for your reply.

    1. The work location is 60 miles away and have to travel 2.5hrs to get there and back. Would that be acceptable? This leaves very little time to make lunch or even have breakfast.

    2 -

    3 - Thanks

    4 - How did you do it? Do you have any tips making such arrangement? I would be looking at places like Travelodge / Premier Inn at £75 mark.

    -----------------

    5. How much can you claim for dinner? Let's say you do a takeaway and it cost around £15-£20 max.
    Originally posted by JamesFuller
    So this suggests the information is for you, not a friend! Get an Accountant!
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 7th Dec 17, 10:13 PM
    • 15,788 Posts
    • 9,078 Thanks
    motorguy
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:13 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:13 PM
    Hi unforeseen, thanks for your reply.

    1. The work location is 60 miles away and have to travel 2.5hrs to get there and back. Would that be acceptable? This leaves very little time to make lunch or even have breakfast.

    2 -

    3 - Thanks

    4 - How did you do it? Do you have any tips making such arrangement? I would be looking at places like Travelodge / Premier Inn at £75 mark.

    -----------------

    5. How much can you claim for dinner? Let's say you do a takeaway and it cost around £15-£20 max.
    Originally posted by JamesFuller
    Typically, i dont claim for lunch, however i claim for a flat rate for an evening meal if i'm staying over and a nominal amount for overnight subsistence.

    I dont think theres much of an issue claiming whatever you need to for a hotel. If you want to stay in the Ritz and are on £1,000 a day, for example, what odds?

    Personally i take the view that the cheaper the hotel the more money in my pocket so i tend to find cheap, clean hotels within walking distance of my place of work, ideally.

    £15-20 a night for a meal - i dont think thats unreasonable but check with an accountant.
    Last edited by motorguy; 07-12-2017 at 10:15 PM.
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 7th Dec 17, 10:19 PM
    • 15,788 Posts
    • 9,078 Thanks
    motorguy
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:19 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:19 PM

    4 - How did you do it? Do you have any tips making such arrangement? I would be looking at places like Travelodge / Premier Inn at £75 mark.
    Originally posted by JamesFuller
    I use IBIS. I get the IBIS Budget for around £42 a night in Manchester and its within walking distance of the office.

    I also look for good B&Bs (harder as i'm in Manchester centre) but i've stayed in Slough, Hatfield and Woking (living the dream! ) before now and i've generally been able to find B&Bs for under that price.

    Some of the other contractors i work with rent an apartment if they're there all week and for extended periods and some of them share an apartment.

    I'm only away 3 nights a week so i just stay in a hotel / B&B
    Last edited by motorguy; 07-12-2017 at 10:21 PM.
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • JamesFuller
    • By JamesFuller 8th Dec 17, 4:10 PM
    • 64 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    JamesFuller
    Thanks all the friend is working with an accountant now but this information has been useful.
    • Makkusu
    • By Makkusu 9th Dec 17, 8:12 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Makkusu
    I am a contractor accountant, a lot of this information is very wrong and I wouldn’t be surprised if you get yourself into a very bad situation.

    Get an accountant and stop posting questions.
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