Sole trader working from shared home - tax and expenses

I work from home, a home I jointly home with my partner. Previously I've not claimed mortgage interest on any bills for using our front room as an office but have been alerted to the fact I should. I know HMRC provide a flat rate for working from home each month. However, if I wanted to work it out what calculation would I need for mortgage interest, broadband, energy etc? Would this just be based on numbers of hours worked from home or would I need to deduct and account for the fact my partner lives here too (but does not work here) so halve every bill?
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  • DE_612183
    DE_612183 Posts: 1,589
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    From my experience the flat rate is the best way forward.
  • Also bear in mind that treating a part of your house as a business may give rise to business rates and capital gains tax because that "office" is business premises.
    I found it wasn't worth the hassle and used the simplified expenses rate
  • Good to know - thank you!
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,045
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    If you did try to claim probably you would have to divide all costs by half and then divide again by how many rooms you have in the house ( as you only use one for work ) Even then HMRC may not agree.
  • Is the whole room used exclusively for your business and nothing else? Your partner basically never uses the room?
  • I have got into a mess with this issue before.  Council tax and rateable value starts to enter the equation regarding your room now being used as business premises as does home insurance. electricity standing charge and all manner of things.  It opens a huge can of worms that will offset any tax saving you may make.  I councel using the flat rate instead.
  • Is the whole room used exclusively for your business and nothing else? Your partner basically never uses the room?
    My partner basically never does. Its a front room with two armchairs, a load of books and my desk. We do sometimes use it together in winter to sit and read. But it is my office throughout the day and its not like a room with a TV in say. But the standard charge seems the way to go.
  • alonso_14 said:
    Is the whole room used exclusively for your business and nothing else? Your partner basically never uses the room?
    My partner basically never does. Its a front room with two armchairs, a load of books and my desk. We do sometimes use it together in winter to sit and read. But it is my office throughout the day and its not like a room with a TV in say. But the standard charge seems the way to go.
    You can't have it both ways!
  • alonso_14 said:
    Is the whole room used exclusively for your business and nothing else? Your partner basically never uses the room?
    My partner basically never does. Its a front room with two armchairs, a load of books and my desk. We do sometimes use it together in winter to sit and read. But it is my office throughout the day and its not like a room with a TV in say. But the standard charge seems the way to go.
    You can't have it both ways!
    Well you can from a tax perspective. You can claim for a room used for an office but you're advised not to claim it is only an office or be subject to CGT at sale so to work out a percentage of use. That's what my question was driving at. So it is used as an office in the day. There are evenings we both use it. That is entirely within HMRC guidance.
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