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Sam, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 14195
Experience:  26 HMRC expertise, PAYE, Self Assessment ,Residency, Rental Income, Capital Gains, CIS ask for Sam Tax
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I'm filing my self assessment return 31st. I'd like

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I'm filing my self assessment return for Jan 31st. I'd like advice on the following:
1) I use my lap top both for work and personal use. The percentage of use is about 50/50.
Can I claim expenses and if so what proportion?
2) My work is yoga teaching and the premises I use is a barn which is a part of my property, owned by myself. Can I claim a proportion maintenance for the outside of the building e.g roof and rendering? If so, what proportion.
Thanks for your question
1) Yes you can claim expenses - first there is the cost to use (so cost of the internet) from which you can claim 50% use (assuming this is the only machine used within the network paid for - if there is more than one machine then you need to adjust the cost accordingly) and then there is also the business equipment claim on the laptop. You do not indicate when you first started self employment or when you purchased the laptop, so please advise further.
2)What else is the barn used for - when did you start to use this for business and is it exclusively for business use now, and when did you incur the costs for roof repairs and rendering, was it just part of the roof and walls or all of it (this makes a difference which I will explain further when I have a response)
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear *****,

Thanks that's helpful.

1. The lap top is about three years old now and I didn't claim expenses for its purchase. Too late now I imagine. From your answer I conclude that I can claim half of the broadband cost and half of any repairs.

2.The barn is used occasionally for table tennis and parties. The ratio of business to personal use is about 95% business and 5% personal. I have used the barn for this business for the past 9 years but have only previously claimed, rightly or wrongly, for carpet cleaning and interior decoration.

The rendering has been done on the outside walls and roof repairs involved replacing tiles.

Thanks for your response
Its not too late to consider the capital expense of the laptop, how much did you buy it for 3 years ago?
The barn - as its not exclusively for business, then most of the expenses are actually personal expenses rather than business, but I would advise that you can claim 95% of the lighting and heating costs (as clearly this is the ratio of additional cost) However for carpet cleaning and the interior decoration, this is not really in relation to business as the barn is still used for personal uses and those costs would be argued by HMRC of being of a personal rather than business nature, but I imagine the amounts are not huge so no need to go back and amend those earlier tax years.
The rendering and repairs to the roof if allowable would be treated as a day to day expenses (if the whole job was undertaken with the roof then this would be a capital cost only deductible off the gain, once the barn was sold)
However we still have the fact that the barn is used for business, and therefore these costs of maintenance cannot be claimed I am afraid. As for costs like this to be permitted it has to be exclusively for business, which it is not. The only time this can be considered is for the additional costs due to heating and lighting (as advised above)
I am sorry the news is not more favourable, but do note that actual business costs such as office furniture and business equipment would be allowable.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear *****,

Thanks for a clear answer to my question. I think I need a reply from you which will enable me to complete the rating which will be excellent.

You are very welcome and only sorry that there was not more you could claim for.
But do let me know if you wish to work out what you can claim for the laptop itself