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Old 13 October 2008, 10:19   #1
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self employment q's...

Hi all,

Would be grateful for a bit of advice here as tax isn't my forte - I am keen however on not giving the taxman any more than I can help especially seeing as he takes so much of my other salary!

I've been doing some freelance skippering in addition to my full time other job and have recently bitten the bullet and registered for tax and NI etc. Spoken to a very unhelpful tax advisor at HMRC who didn't seem to share my interest in offsetting costs to work out profit. Do you guys have any idea if the following are valid expenses, or how to make them valid if possible? I'd prefer to avoid an accountant if possible, but if it's worth it can you suggest anyone?

travel to approx 4 different sites of different employers? train, tube etc?
protective clothing - ie waterproofs etc?
training costs for commercial license and PBI ticket - they're not in the tax year, does that matter?
anything else you can think of?

Also, do you have any ideas suggestions who does a (cheap!) public liability policy for freelance skippering (not instructing) - most of the quotes ive seen on here have been v expensive for what is going to be at most 3-4k yearly income for me?

cheers all,

steve
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Old 13 October 2008, 12:07   #2
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All IMHO - and not statement of fact:
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelondon79 View Post
travel to approx 4 different sites of different employers? train, tube etc? Yes should be,
protective clothing - ie waterproofs etc? Yes, would expect so, because you don't use them for anything else do you?
training costs for commercial license and PBI ticket - Mmm... not sure on this - accountant may be able to help.
For general info: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTax...iefs/DG_078323
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Old 13 October 2008, 12:48   #3
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Steve

If you can find an accountant who specialises in self employed tax returns then it will probably save you more than it costs, certainly in the first year. It's worth having someone who really knows the system.

Once you're set up and know what you can (and can't) claim for then for the amount of work you're talking about you should be able to do it yourself pretty easily.

John
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Old 13 October 2008, 16:57   #4
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[QUOTE=stevelondon79;267509] Hi all,



travel to approx 4 different sites of different employers? train, tube etc?
protective clothing - ie waterproofs etc?
training costs for commercial license and PBI ticket - they're not in the tax year, does that matter?
anything else you can think of?

They are not employers and it is not PAYE (this is for employees)- you are providing a service to customers hence self employed. This is a very important difference fewer expenses are reclaimable from employed (PAYE) work than are available to offset against self employed profits

All travelling expenses should be allowable keep your receipts or charge mileage costs at 40p per mile for all business travel + hotel bills for any overnight stays.

All your protective clothing should be allowable.

Also mobile phone costs say 50% ? and maybe internet connection and "website" costs say 50% Computer costs, paper ink etc (you have to market/ advertise your business).

Maybe some of the costs of your own boat stick some advertising stickers on it then it is your "mobile advert"

Also check your motor insurance covers you for incidental business mileage.

I'm not sure about the commercial licence as the cost was incured in a previous tax year you could try it on the basis that you would not be earning if hadn't paid to qualify.

On the odd occasion I have had to speak to anyone at HMRC they have been very helpful (but there are tossers every where)

Hope this helps agree with JK providing you get a good one (again there are tossers everywhere)
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Old 13 October 2008, 17:09   #5
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Travel Yes with reciepts (tax inxpector Would not allow just tickets for my return, has to VAT no on them)

Waterproofs are classed as PPE and there is an allowance each year, Not brought any for a while so not sure what the rate is now, Was about 300 about 4 years ago

Qualifications if professional can be claimed but not sure about previous years
Any in the future can as can medicals and courses required for revalidation

Stationary, Postage, reference materials are some of the things I claim.

From my experience the tax inspector will attempt to remove all expenses from your accounts so you pay more tax. I found this out to my expense a couple of years ago when I took my accounts to the tax office to get them to help with filling out the return. Get reciepts for everything and account as you go, it is much easier that way. Use a book keeper or accountant they will save at least their fee if not more
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Old 13 October 2008, 19:33   #6
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cheers guys, I think I'll see an accountant for a bit of advice, as it seems there's a right way and a wrong way of doing things. might help with the record keeping for the rest of the year as well. I knew this getting paid for boating must have a catch! cya, steve
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Old 13 October 2008, 19:37   #7
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Is there no-one like Nova for other industries?I think These guys are for HGV drivers only.

http://www.novaservices.co.uk/
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Old 14 October 2008, 15:13   #8
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if you know anyone who has been in business for a while try to get some recommendations for an accountant. There are good bad and indifferent in all professions. Mine was recommended by a mate who has a one man business and has used him for years. Good guy, works from home so I can see where m'money goes but cheaper than some with fancy offices. Wicked sense of humour though- a pleasure to go and have my wallet emptied and the p*** taken outa my book keeping.
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Old 14 October 2008, 18:37   #9
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...and claim for everything - they'll tell if you can't...!


Include mobile phone (for business use only - use a pay as you go or contract phone NOT for personal calls)

Clothing

Books and almanacs etc

Electricity and heating offset (if working from home as an office base for admin)

Travel but as above - get VAT receipts

Food and subsistence if working away from home

Equipment - chandlery purchases such as safety knife, compass etc

Anything purchased required to carry out your work so postage, paper, stationary, business cards, laptop computer, software etc etc

The list is as long as your imagination and as with all things, don't ask, don't get...! A good accountant will charge no more than around 200 - 300 per annum - mine's an ex tax inspector and when I played keyboards in a 60's tribute band, asked me for haircut receipts (as we went for the full 60's bowlhead haircut look)...!!!
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Old 14 October 2008, 19:38   #10
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Tax

Not sure if you can claim training costs for developing new skills.

My accountant says I cannot, and Neither can pilots training for licenses.

Here is a link
ttp://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/reports/article1878678.ece

and

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM01200.htm
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