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Simplified Expenses - Working from Home

TJTrainer
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:30 am

Simplified Expenses - Working from Home

Postby TJTrainer » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:43 am

I am working from home and trying to establish what is, and isn't, covered by the HMRC Simplified Expenses Scheme!

The original information posted by HMRC states that "The monthly flat rate includes all household running costs, such as heat, light, power, telephone and broadband/internet costs" (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-and-customs-brief-14-2013-direct-tax-simpler-income-tax-simplified-expenses/revenue-and-customs-brief-14-2013-direct-tax-simpler-income-tax-simplified-expenses#use-of-home-for-business-deductions).
However, more recent information states "The flat rate doesn’t include telephone or internet expenses" (https://www.gov.uk/simpler-income-tax-simplified-expenses/working-from-home).
I have also found conflicting information about whether the flat rate for 'working from home' expenses includes rent and council tax, or whether it's just utility bills. If HMRC have changed the rules since the beginning of the scheme, I cannot find when this occurred.

As a freelancer, my accounts are very simple, with few expenses and I just need this question answered in order to be able to complete my self assessment. Put simply, can anyone clarify which items on the following list are included in the flat rate for 'working from home' expenses?
1) Rent
2) Council Tax
3) Gas, electricity & water
4) Telephone & internet

The 'simplified' scheme doesn't appear to be that simple when the HMRC information isn't consistent! :?

SteLacca
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:17 pm

Re: Simplified Expenses - Working from Home

Postby SteLacca » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:36 am

Rent and Council Tax are not deductible. You incur these costs irrespective of whether you are working or not.

Additional costs of gas, electricity and water (or the £4 pw simplified scheme) are allowable to the extent that they are attributable to work.

Telephone/internet costs are allowable to the extent that they relate to work. The simplified scheme is exclusive of these.

TJTrainer
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Simplified Expenses - Working from Home

Postby TJTrainer » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:48 pm

Thanks for the reply, but your answer isn't quite correct.

A proportion of rent and Council Tax are allowable deductions if you use a room in your home as an office for your business. All of the items listed in my previous post can be allowable deductions, and can be calculated on the basis of apportionment.

My question wasn't about whether these are allowable, but whether they are, or aren't, included in the Simplified Expenses scheme. The information I had found online from HMRC was contradictory.

Thanks anyway for taking the time to reply.

TJ

bd6759
Posts: 2284
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Simplified Expenses - Working from Home

Postby bd6759 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:21 pm

https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim75010

Simplified expense covers running cost, generally heat and light. You can claim the actual cost of fixed expnses, subject the the general rule - the expense, or an identifiable part of it, must have been incurred solely for the purposes of the trade.


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