Tax Guru 11-2013

Hello again!

My name is Andrew Richardson and I have been running TaxAssist Accountants in Elgin for six years. I am hoping that this tax advice section will become an interactive feature. Submit your tax and accountancy questions to Moray Life and I’ll answer a sample of them each month, along with a brief summary of the tax issues we should be looking out for.

Q: I have just started self employment. When do I need to register with HM Revenue & Customs?

A: Firstly, you need to work out which tax year your start date falls into. The tax year runs from the 6th of April to the 5th of April, so your start date will fall into the tax year ending 5th of April 2014. You must therefore register by the following 5th of October (2014). As you are registering as self employed, the form you need to complete is HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) form CWF1, or you can register with HMRC online at hmrc.gov.uk.

You will also need to pay Class 2 National Insurance which is only £2.70 per week for 2013/14. Most people choose to pay for these contributions via Direct Debit. You will need to complete HM Revenue & Customs form CA 5601 if you would like to pay via this method.

Please note, this is merely with regards to self assessment, and does not include VAT or employer matters for example.

Q: Some people say that the tax deadline is the 31st of October, and others the 31st of January (2014). Which is right?

A: The filing deadline of 31st October 2013 only applies to those taxpayers who wish to complete and submit a paper 2013 tax return. But taxpayers also have the alternative to file their tax returns online. The online filing procedure allows taxpayers to submit 2013 returns up until the 31st of January 2014. But it is good practice to complete your tax return well ahead of the deadline.

Filing your tax return ahead of the 31st of January 2014, whether you file it electronically or in hardcopy, does not accelerate the due date for the tax.

Q: I am self employed but I operate from home. I've just had to make some repairs to the roof. Am I able to claim any of this as a business expense?

A: For the self-employed, their home has a duel purpose - you live there and you carry on some or all of your trade from there. As a result, many of the household expenses cover both business and private use.

The element attributable to the business will depend on the facts; including the extent and nature of the work undertaken from home. The part attributable to the business use should be allowable.

A proportion of the cost of general household repairs and maintenance is allowable in line with the proportion that the house is used solely for the business. For example, redecorating the exterior or repairing the roof.

Repairs that relate solely to part of the house that is not used for the business, such as decorating a room not used for business, are not allowable. Equally, if a room is used solely for business purposes then the cost of redecorating that room is wholly allowable.

Capital expenditure (for example on 'improvements' to the property) is not allowable expenditure; though plant and machinery allowances may be appropriate for certain qualifying expenditure.

As with a lot of areas of tax, repairs can be a complicated area so I would encourage you to seek professional advice before you enter any significant claims on your tax return.

 

If you have a tax query then please submit your questions to Moray Life and I'll try to give a response next month.  And always remember...

'Children may be deductible, but they are still taxing'.

By Andrew Richardson

TaxAssist Accountants Moray

Andrew’s contact details:

Please see my TaxAssist page for more details.