Have I left it too late to get an accountant for January 18 tax return? Do you even get accountants that want '£15 per hour gardeners and handyman' type work?I completed January 17 as a sole trader working out of a car claiming a mileage allowance as simplified expenses. I paid about £1500 in tax and survived the experience.I've now got a van to include in Jan 18. I had optimistically thought I could claim everything (the van cost, the repair, fuel and insurance bills) as an expense.However, the HMRC help pages on simplified expenses vs actual costs and allowable expenses and writing down allowances is going round and round and getting more baffling with each read. As far as I can see from the HMRC checker I'm better off claiming actual costs on the van. So I create a main pool and write down 18% of the van cost per year. Bills like insurance and repairs still go into business expenses?Sorry to be a numpty but it's a bit stressful when confronted with a spreadsheet and officialdom. What with the weather you may have time to compose a gentle response and maybe spread a little good will and Christmas cheer...

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

Email me when people reply –


  • PRO

    I don't think you'll have a problem finding an accountant Tim. Have a look around your local area and make some calls.

    I think your dealings will be easy for an accountant to deal with and it's best to get yourself sorted sooner rather than later.

  • PRO Supplier

    You can get experienced bookkeeper types who can fill in the tax form and know how to submit everything properly, but if you want tax 'advice' and options for claiming then a fully qualified accountant would be better.....there's a difference in price however...

    Perhaps as its early days an accountant would be better - set up a 'template' and plan for claiming expenses & filing returns then hand over in future years to a (cheaper) good bookkeeper?

  • PRO

    You may find many local accountant firms to you will gove a free consultation so you can ask loads of questions. I would recommend you do get professional advice as the tax man will not be sympathetic if you get it wrong. Book Keeping rates are less than an Accountant so may be an option is you are on tight budget.

    Personally I suggest spending a small sum to get an Accountant to sort it as if they do their job well they can save their fees in less tax due plus give you assurance you are in safe hands. Once you get more in tune with the ins and outs of it all you could dial it back to getting a qualified book keep to help in the future. However, a proper Accountant will always be the best option. 

    • as Russell says, the down side if you take it back on is if there is a change in the tax system it can take you a long time to find out the details a accountant will be up to speed quickly with the help of his professional body 

  • PRO
    A good, small business experienced Accountant is the best person you’ll ‘never’ employ.
  • Try local small accountants.

    I have a lady who works from home, has 3 kids and a few pets. She is the perfect person for one man/woman bands like us. Or try retired accountants who are very knowledgeable and do not charge the world either. Some wont have shiny websites either. Use the power of Google maps to find them. Merry Christmas

    • Thanks everyone. Much appreciated.
This reply was deleted.

Industry Jobs

Garden maintenance operatives – full and part time – Tunbridge Wells area

  Experienced gardeners – start a new and exciting career in 2018 Work in the Tunbridge Wells, Uckfield, Lewes and surrounding areas – 7 hour working days Full time – up to £26k, holidays, tools supplied Self employed,  £14.28 – £15.71 per hour Are you an experienced and/or qualified gardener looking for a new and


HortiServices Ltd are well respected Professional Landscapers in South Cambridgeshire, providing design, installation and maintenance services. Our success can be attributed to the loyalty of our customers, high quality of our work and our willingness to go the full mile for our clients. Due to our successful growth we are recruiting for landscaper/landscape labourer to

Hard Landscape Foreman

You will have at least 3 years’ experience of running domestic landscaping projects with project values ranging from 20k-150k, producing work on time to an exceptional standard. Key skills: – ·         Proficient at all aspects of hard and soft landscaping with experience of working with a wide range of materials and budgets. ·         A very

Experienced Landscape Gardener

  We are seeking an experienced hard landscaper to join our growing team. The prospective candidate must be proficient and experienced in, patios, decking, stone and brick walling, using site levels and familiar with drainage and be able to work from site drawings/plans. Must be able to work unaided and/or as part of a team.

If you've received help from the Landscape Juice Network and you'd like to say thank you, why not make a small donation?

The site is maintained as an indpendent industry resource and it's become an essential tool for those working in the landscape industry.

Thank you

Phil Voice

Founder Landscape Juice

Make a donation

LJN Sponsor



PRO Supplier

Cold Start Kick Starts Edgbaston’s Greens

Eddie Mills, Course Manager at Edgbaston Golf Club in Birmingham, believes that his fully integrated iTurf programme has helped him maintain his particularly stubborn clay-based greens to an exceptional standard.

Established in 1896,…

Read more…