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September Question and Answer Section

Newsletter issue - September 2012.

Q. I run my own company from an office in a spare bedroom at home, and my wife runs a separate company from a downstairs office in the same house. Can we both claim £3 per week expenses for use of home from our companies? Would the situation be different if we both worked full time for the same company?

A. Yes, you can both claim the use of home expense allowance, which is now £4 per week as from 6 April 2012. It makes no difference whether you both work for the same company or for different companies.

Q. I own a number of rental properties but this year I've been sued over unpaid service charges. The dispute has been resolved, but I've been left with legal costs. Can I deduct those legal costs from the property rental income for the year?

A. In general any legal fees associated with acquiring or improving the property or defending the title to the property or extending a lease on a property cannot be deducted from the rental income, as they are capital expenditure. Other legal fees associated with annual bills or service charges should be allowable. You should keep all the paper work associated with the dispute just in case the Taxman asks about the legal fees in future.

Q. My business recently bought an e-book reader from an online retailer. It will be used for business purposes but the retailer is refusing to provide me with a VAT invoice, saying their products are not provided for business purposes, so VAT invoices are not provided to VAT registered customers. How can I get the VAT invoice I need to claim back the VAT charged to my business?

A. If the customer (you) asks for a VAT invoice the supplier must provide one, but in practice you can't force the retailer to comply with the VAT law. As long as you have documentary evidence that VAT was charged – the amount and rate – and evidence that you have tried to obtain a VAT invoice, you can reclaim the VAT charged in your VAT return.

 

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Choice Events Limited

All at Beauchamp Charles are very helpful, approachable and easy to talk to. They keep me informed with key dates; I can feel totally confident that I won't ever miss any deadlines! Whoever I deal with, always deal with matters professionally and efficiently and if they are unavailable they get back to me promptly.

FT leisure Ltd

I have worked with Beauchamp Charles as our management accountants for over 20 years and have never received anything less than exceptional service. Their approach is both professional and personal. Finances and particularly tax strategies are a minefield for small businesses; Beauchamp Charles have in-depth knowledge of these area, which is comforting. They pay very close attention to our business activities and have provided financial strategies that have helped our company develop.

Fredrick Thomas Electrical and Maintenance

We have used Beauchamp Charles since company formation back in 1998. Beauchamp Charles offers us a one to one service as they are small enough to offer this dedicated service and large enough to do the work and offer best advice. They get to know us as individuals and a business, always giving sound advice. Frederick Thomas Electrical are in a stronger place thanks to the service we get from them.

Barnes Walker Landscapes Limited

We are a small business and had employed the same accountancy firm for many years. Two years ago we took the decision to switch to Beauchamp Charles after several othe local businesses recommended them very highly to us. We have not been disappointed with the service they have provided to us over these last two years.