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Sam
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Hi I am a mature student doing an MSc at Aberdeen university.

Resolved Question:

Hi I am a mature student doing an MSc at Aberdeen university. I have a full time job and they turned down my application to help with funding. I also have self employed status as I do some lecturing and have a small aromatherapy practice. My question is can I claim any tax back to help with the cost of my course e.g cost of books etc. I will ultimately use the qualification to do some teaching.
Any help much appreciated, kind regards Sandra.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Sam replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for your question
Can I ask what subject your MSC is in? And whether it has any relevance to your employment self employment or current lecturing work.
What will it enable you to do, that you currently cannot?
Thanks
Sam
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Sam,

It is in Mindfulness and in the future I am hoping to be able to incorporate the knowledge I gain to teach courses in Mindfulness. I would hope to provide the courses to health care professionals and people affected by cancer.

Kind regards Sandra.

Expert:  Sam replied 2 years ago.
HI Sandra
Thanks for your response
If it can be argued that this is development of an existing skill, or refresher training (such as updating existing skills) then it can be claimed for against the self employment as its deemed to be professional development, but it does seem that this leans to a new skill enabling you to provide quite specific support, that you at this time, would not be able to provide.
However, as you already are fully trained in aromatherapy, and have a practice, that you offer support to those with various ailments and illnesses,I would be inclined to write to HMRC c/o the Technical team (at your usual tax office) and ask for their view on this matter, as I do feel worded in the right way, that HMRC would lean towards allowing these costs, for the course, materials and books - and if you have their agreement in writing, that you can be secure in the position they will not be able to challenge this is the future.
For information I have seen HMRC allowed building on alternative medicine provision but also had cases which they have refused as it has been seen to provide "a new string to the bow" which is why I urge you to get a decision from HMRC in writing.
But as this can go either way - its certainly best to let them make that decision.
Thanks
Sam
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