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Self Assessment Taxes – Some handy tips


So they said tax doesn't have to be taxing... and they were right!

As we near another Self Assessment deadline day, we thought we would highlight a couple of tax saving pointers that should be considered before you hit the 'Submit' button. And whilst these may only shave a few pounds off of your tax liability, I'm sure it's much better thought of, to be resting in your bank account, than the taxmans'!

So first up, let's have a look at the work from home allowance, and summarise both ways that you claim;

The simplified method - one flat fee per month, depending on the amount of hours spend working from home;

  • 25-50 hours spent working from home (p/month) - Claim £10 p/month
  • 51-100 hours spent working from home (p/month) - Claim £18 p/month
  • 101 plus hours spent working from home (p/month) - Claim £26 p/month

The slightly more complex method would be to reclaim a proportion of monthly household bills and expenses; Rent, Utilities, Phone, Council Tax, Broadband and cleaning costs.

You would work out the total value, split by the total amount of rooms in the house/flat, multiplied by the amount of rooms used for business and then work out the time spent in these rooms used for business as a percentage of this figure, which you would then claim. In order to make a claim of this type, you would need to be able to substantiate reasonable business operations based at home, and keep all household bills as evidence. You would always be required to make a deduction for your personal usage of the home. And this is why many people opt for the simplified version - which requires little evidence.

Secondly, business mileage and how using this can combat missing receipts and ensure you are maximising your tax relief.

There are a number of mileage tracker apps available to download to your apple or android phone, and this really removes the hard work for you. Many offer easy reporting that can be downloaded at regular intervals to ensure you are tracking and claiming. Quickbooks Self Employed App also offers this as a built in feature.

HMRC will always encourage you to keep any receipts to substantiate any claim you are making, but there are other ways of proving the accuracy of your claim, such as the app history mentioned above or your MOT certificate (if your car/van is old enough), which will should your last three years odometer readings. And in a time when rain forests are disappearing and we are battling to reduce our carbon footprint, surely one day paper receipts have got to become a thing of the past!

The current mileage rates, will allow you to claim 45p for the first 10,000 miles per year, and 25p per mile thereafter.

HMRC are making the process for submitting your self assessment online much simpler, and their online portal, and Personal Tax account app much more user friendly. However, making sure you have completed everything correctly and finally clicking that 'Submit' button can still be daunting, if you aren't really sure you have said yes and no where you should have, entered figures in the correct boxes, etc.

Aswell as our full preparation and submission service, we also offer a 'Check and Send' service, allowing you to complete your self assessment yourself, and this is then reviewed by a member of our team, who will check your self assessment, and confirm that everything is as it should be, and complete the submission.

Please get in touch if you feel that this is something that you would like to discuss further!

About the author

Emma Armstrong

Emma Armstrong

Emma has worked in finance for over 15 years, becoming a self-employed Bookkeeper 11 years ago, and training to become a Certified Accountant before launching B-Able in 2012.

Emma is dedicated to providing her clients with reliable business support.