Tax Relief for Pre-trading Expenses

By the time you actually start trading, you may have spent thousands of pounds on research and setting up the business.

Provided you have formally notified HM Revenue & Customs that you have started up a business, most of these costs are usually allowable as business expenses in the first year.

Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005

Pre-trading expenses

(1)This section applies if a person incurs expenses for the purposes of a trade before (but not more than 7 years before) the date on which the person starts to carry on the trade (“the start date”).
(2)If, in calculating the profits of the trade—
(a)no deduction would otherwise be allowed for the expenses, but
(b)a deduction would be allowed for them if they were incurred on the start date,
the expenses are treated as if they were incurred on the start date (and therefore a deduction is allowed for them).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/5/section/57

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/bim46355.htm

VAT Paid Before VAT Registration

You can reclaim any VAT you are charged on goods or services that you use to set up your business.

Normally, this will include:
• VAT on goods you bought for your business within the last 4 years and which you have not yet sold.
• VAT on services, which you received not more than 6 months before your date of registration.

You should include this VAT on your first VAT return. (Notice 700/1 April 2010 4.2)

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageExcise_ShowContent&id=HMCE_CL_000086&propertyType=document#P331_32574

steve@bicknells.net

Self Employed Tax Allowances

Basically when you are self employed you spend money on 3 types of expense:

1. Capital Expenditure – Equipment & Vehicles

2. Business Expenditure – stock, wages, premises

3. Private Expenditure – day to day living expenses – mostly not allowed but some types of cost may still count as business expenses

In general its types 1 and 3 where sole traders and partnerships miss out on tax allowances.

For example, you could claim capital allowances on your car,

Example: If you are self-employed, you pay Income Tax and your accounts are drawn up for the year to 5 April 2011 and you spent £20,000 on a car that you use 100 per cent for your business that has CO2 emissions of 165g/km, the calculation is as follows:

Cost of car = £20,000
Writing-down allowance deducted (£20,000 x 10 per cent) = £2,000
Value to carry forward = £18,000
Capital allowance you can claim = £2,000

If you use your car partly for private and partly for business you simply disallow a % for private use.

On other assets there is an Annual Investment Allowance which is currently £100,000 per year but will drop to £25000 in April 2012.

For most business that will cover all their capital expenditure, but there are further allowances available too.

With regard to private expenditure, there are tax reliefs available for working from home

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/incometax/relief-household.htm

If you have to spend money on tools or specialist clothing for your job you may be entitled to either:

  • tax relief for the actual amounts you spend
  • a ‘flat rate deduction’

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/eim32712.htm

steve@bicknells.net

How to claim tax relief for employment expenses

As an employee you can claim tax relief for expenses incurred in doing your job, for example business mileage, cycling on business, hotels, meals, business phone calls, in fact anything as long as its business related

If your claim is less than £2500 you can make your claim using Form P87 http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/p87.pdf if its more than £2500 you will need to complete a Self Assessment Return (you need to phone HMRC to request a Self Assessment Return – contact details below), if you know your UTR number you can register and file your Self Assessment Return on line.

steve@bicknells.net

 

Telephone

Self Assessment

Help and advice for customers completing their tax return and supplementary pages, or who need general advice about Self Assessment
Please have your Unique Taxpayer Reference number with you when you phone
Opening hours
8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday
8.00 am to 4.00 pm Saturday
Closed Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day
0845 900 0444

Tax Refund for Business Mileage

Many employers pay their employees expenses for business mileage, but often the amount they pay is below the HMRC approved rates shown below.

If your employer pays at rates below the HMRC Approved Rates you can claim tax relief on the difference, this can add up to a lot of money particularly for site based staff who can count travel to temporary places of work as business travel or for workers who’s place of work is their home.

You can claim the tax relief via your self assessment return or by writing to HMRC.

steve@bicknells.net

Travel – mileage and fuel allowances

Approved mileage rates
From 2002/03 to 2010/11 First 10,000 business miles in the tax year Each business mile over 10,000 in the tax year
Cars and vans 40p 25p
Motor cycles 24p 24p
Bicycles 20p 20p
Approved mileage rates
From 2011/12 First 10,000 business miles in the tax year Each business mile over 10,000 in the tax year
Cars and vans 45p 25p
Motor cycles 24p 24p
Bicycles 20p 20p

 

200% Tax Relief for R&D, could your business claim it?

All companies spending at least £10,000 in their accounting year on qualifying R&D are entitled to claim a deduction when calculating their taxable profits of:

  • 175% of qualifying expenditure for SMEs in respect of expenditure incurred on or after 1 August 2008 rising to 200% from April 2011 and 225% from April 2012, subject to EU approval under the State aid rule

or

  • 130% of qualifying expenditure for larger companies until 31 March 2008

http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/innovation/business-support/rd-tax-credits/about#6

Companies can claim R&D tax credits for their revenue expenditure on:

  • employing staff directly and actively engaged in carrying out R&D
  • paying a staff provider for staff provided to the company who are directly and actively engaged in carrying out R&D
  • consumable or transformable materials used directly in carrying out R&D (broadly, physical materials which are consumed in the R&D)
  • power, water, fuel and computer software used directly in carrying out R&D

Lots of businesses carry out R&D and never claim, so why not see if your R&D qualifies?

Steve@bicknells.net