Can I claim?
Use of the telephone is a very important component for many businesses, and the modern solution is often to either use Skype or to opt for a PAYG mobile telephone. You can claim tax relief on either of these communication methods providing that the only messages you access are those for business-related purposes.
Under Self-Employed Expenses, choose either "Use of Home as an Office" if your business is registered to your home address, or "Office Space & Utilities "if it’s registered elsewhere. Then, enter the appropriate details under "Phone & Fax".
Being able to pick up the phone to speak to a business can be a great source of comfort to some people; it takes a real leap of faith to pay for a service when you have never seen or spoken to the individual!
It's therefore imperative that businesses are accessible by phone both to their existing customers and also the wider potential client-base.
If you are using services such as Skype for both professional and private use, it will be necessary for you to ascertain the proportion which is being used commercially. This is because you cannot claim tax relief on a service which is not being used for business purposes.
For this reason, you may find that purchasing a PAYG phone and keeping it entirely for business use is one of the simplest ways to keep your tax relief calculation uncomplicated. Although you can use the same number for both personal and professional purposes, having a separate number not only helps to draw a dividing line around your private life, it also makes the associated costs much clearer.
If you don't opt to separate the expenditure, you could work out in detail the costs for the service which relate to business use only. Alternatively you could use the flat rates from HMRC; these take into account commercial use for a range of services for a typical business and provide a sliding scale depending on how many hours are worked each month.
Flat rates on SimpleTax
You can select the "Home as Office Allowance" on the "Home as Office" expenses group. By opting for this, HMRC's standard £4 per week allowance will be automatically added to your business expenditure.
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