1,400 home businesses are started every week in the UK and ‘mum’ businesses contribute an estimated £4.4billion to the economy, and now HMRC are putting their weight behind the growing trend, with new tax breaks for people working at home.
New guidance in HMRC manuals, published on their website, contain examples of the level and nature of home expenses that can be claimed. There are two areas of particular interest: specific expenses and mixed use of premises.
A new element is termed ‘fixed costs’ and includes mortgage interest, Council tax and home insurance, and for the first time HMRC are allowing a proportion of these costs to be claimed against the income of your business if certain criteria are met, such as:
• The area of your home is used exclusively for business purposes for a prescribed amount of time - say, 9am to 3pm, which basically means that if you sit at the kitchen table working you won’t qualify for the additional deductions.
• The amount you claim has to be reasonable in relation to your business - so you can’t claim that you work 20 hours a day.
Apart from these two provisos, you will now be able to claim a percentage of the total cost of running the home. Work at Home guru, Claire Burdett, founder of Funky Angel a web site for work at home mums and dads and their families said,
“This is news to celebrate over, because it is a firm indication that the powers that be are getting behind the WAH trend in the UK and beginning to try and help. The rise in fuel prices, job insecurity, the credit crunch and an increasing sense of a loss of community are all pushing increasing amounts of mums, dads and other members of the family to decide to work from home.”
Funky Angel has been at the forefront of working at home trend, having been launched by Claire Burdett in 2003, following her divorce when she couldn’t find the information and support she needed to help her set up a home business around her two young children.
As Claire says,
“I believe in a whole life approach to business, concentrating on the achieving the best life/family/work balance we can, with an emphasis on building networks and relationships as well as making more than enough money because I don’t think families, or anyone, should have to struggle financially.”
We think every family has a right to have enough money and resources, that every child has the right to have a parent on hand when they need it, and that every parent has the right to have the time and energy to raise their child in the way they want to while still having enough money to live on – they should also have the opportunity to use their skills and intellect in a way that is best for them and their family. We believe working at home meets all those criteria and is the way forward for the UK, where fragmented communities have been causing so much concern.
However, we don't actually believe the propaganda that the modern family is failing, and we don't subscribe to the nonsense that mothers are always to blame. We think the modern family is doing just great and that parents have never done a better job, but that they could do with some support and assistance. This move by HMRC is timely and very welcome.”
For further information, please contact:
Helen Moore Associates
020 7193 0217
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