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Alright chaps, hope you havent all burned to a crisp out there today!

So ive signed up for quickbooks and im just going back through all my expenses but one area seems to be quite grey to me and not black and white.

what can i claim tax relief for within my expenses?

Can i claim releif on my start-up tools such as mower & strimmer i have purchased, and all the other tools of the trade? can i whack them on there as well?

Ive done plenty of searches but i seem none the wiser right now?

Can i just claim back on things that are consumable that id use with the the various customers or can i claim on these so called 'capital' items?

many thanks in advance

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  • sounds like you need a accountant 

  • You can claim for everything that is used in your business. The yearly 'write down' is 18% on most capitol expenditure, mowers, hedge cutters etc, but you can claim the whole cost of something in the first year [the tax year you actually buy the item]. So, if in this tax year you buy a new strimmer, you can if you wish claim the whole purchase price against tax. But if you decide only to claim 18% in the year of purchase, the rest goes into the 'plant pool' along with the redidual value of your other machinary, and you can only have 18% of the residual value in subsequant years. However, if your 'plant pool' drops below £1000, you can then have all of it in the year that this occurs.These things come under 'Annual Investment allowance [A.I.] and 'Small Annual Investment Allowance'.

    I regularly have a new Hilux. This is offset against the business at 18% per year [it was 25% a while back]. Obviously all consumables, petrol, deisel, oil, strimmer line etc are in. Vehicle insurance, VED, servicing, MOT's, tyres, repairs, Public liabilty, all equipment repairs, parts obviously. Phone, mobile and landline in part, stationary, ink, overalls, boots, work wear in general. The list is almost endless.

    • Thank you David, very informative and just what i needed to know, appreciate it.

  • Firstly it's important to remember whether your business is run as a ltd. compamy or on a self-employed basis.

    The next important consideration is whether you are using cash basis accounting or traditional accounting (accrual) as the rules are different.

    Once you are clear which accounting system you are using it's easier to research online what applies to you. Just a word of caution - when you come across information it's important to identify which type of accounting the website is advising on (and in which country too).

    • Thank you Duncan, im a sole trader myself and i signed up for quickbooks the other day so just trying to get my head round it all! there is no option to change what the expense is in quickbooks which is a bit of a bugger, its not the clearest! 

  • PRO

    Hi James,

    don't panic over this - it's not that hard really, you just need some sound advice  / decisions to start with.

    Being self employed, you'll need to do a tax return. Do you want to do that or get an accountant to do it (cost around £300-500). If you go down the accountant route, then they will advise on accrual vs cash. Many small businesses in the service industry eg gardeners, painters etc, use cash basis as you basically record items when you pay them or get paid. So do a job dec 2017, get paid apr 2018, it would go in the 2018-2019 return. There are restrictions on capital item recognition and some expense sizes. Accrual is based on invoicing timing. So do a job dec 2017, invoice same time, get paid apr 2018, it would go in the 2017-2018 return. Less restrictions on capital item recognition etc.

    Both are perfectly workable and QB can be set-up in your profile for either.

    As I decided to use an accountant to do returns, I followed their advice and went accrual. Frankly I got the impression it was 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other argument...

    ALL expenses relating to doing the job, running the business are allowed. Keep all receipts, better still enter copies of them into QB (we use autoentry). We haven't bothered with write down methods as the annual investment allowance is large (over £100k) and so we expense full amount for kit when purchased.

    Log everything into QB and at year end the accountant looks it all over,corrects and moves things as needed and does the return.

    Also, inmportant to keep all receipts as if you eventually go vat registered, you can reclaim vat on kit / materials purchased for I think 3 years beforehand AS LONG AS it exists / being used as part of the business the day you vat register.

    You may want to find a local book-keeper who is a QB expert to get them to set things up for you and explain how to do entries, reports etc. Many will do this for a reasonalbe fixed fee, without committment to ongoing work.

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