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Tony Tax
Tony Tax, Tax Consultant
Category: UK Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15658
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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Hi there, I am a small business and just had my first year

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Hi there,
I am a small business and just had my first year end tax accounts done. I am VAT registered and throughout the year, I have been doing my own tax records. All of my records and copy of Sage went to the accountant. They told me that I could not claim any of my home expenses even though I work form home 90% of the time and they forgot to include things which I then pointed out to them. Their bill has just come in for £1200 which was not pre-agreed. Could I have claimed any home expenses (I rent) and is this figure accurate for an accountant who basically audited my accounts?

Can you tell me what you do for a living please.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I sell things online through ecommerce websites and on eBay


Leave this with me while I draft my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay, thanks x

Here again.

If you work from home on a self-employed basis then there are some home expenses you can claim which are dependent on whether you use a room solely for business purposes or not.

Take a look at the guidance here. If you click on "Next Page" at the bottom you will find some examples based on different circumstances.

Fees will vary from accountant to accountant depending on the size of the practice, where it is, the profile of the clients, the type of client the firm is trying to attract and any number of other variables.and should be agreed in advance, preferably. I cannot tell whether the fees you have been charged are excessive as I don't know how much adjustment was made to your Sage records by the accountant, how much other analysis they did or whether the fee included your tax return.

I know accountants and tax advisers who have trained clients to use Sage and who do very little tidying up because the client wants to keep the fees down but that's not how I operate. It's always possible to find someone cheaper but as with anything else, you get what you pay for.

What worries me is that your accountant missed out legitimate expense claims and if I were you, I'd consider finding another accountant, preferably one with more tax knowledge.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for this. Very useful.

I use one room in my house for business during the day and another room in my house during the day for packing up items to post out etc.

The house has 14 rooms. We rent at £1600 per month and our oil, elec etc is incredibly high (as its an old house). In your opinion, could i have legitimately charged 10% of household expenses for business without it being considered needed to pay business rates?

The company I used were two ladies (partners). 1 deals with sage training and came in each VAT quarter for around a year to help me learn about Sage which I paid at £40 per hour. Her partner is the 'accountant' who does the year end. They failed to spot several things which I pointed out and reduced my own tax bill by around £1500 by doing this. A fee was never agreed but on one occasion she said the £800 mark and on another £500 mark. I'm just wondering if their 'error' is justification for arguing my point on the fee. I absolutely don't mind paying an honest bill for honest work but feel that I've been 'diddled' slightly.

By the way, I am now obviously looking for a new accountant...can you pass me on your contact details please as you do seem to have a much clearer understanding of tax :0)

It's difficult for me to say whether a 10% claim is justified or not without seeing what actually goes on. It doesn't seem to be excessive especially since you use two rooms. I'd be inclined to claim 10% and be ready to back it up if you are asked about it. HMRC may reduce it but at least then you will know where you stand. If you claim too little, you may not be doing yourself justice.

As far as the fees are concerned, you are free to dispute them especially since some mistakes have been made. Normally, a fair minded accountant would offer a reduction in recognition of the errors.

Unfortunately, I cannot take on private clients through this site.
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