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Getting the Company to Pay

Simple and safe ways to claim tax deductions for expenses

A Handy Guide about... 

In a nutshell

The goal of this book is simple: to help you minimise your tax bill and maximise the deductions you're entitled to. Fully updated for 2018/19, it sets out the ground rules for legitimately putting expenses through your business. It also highlights the tax and National Insurance consequences. You'll be surprised just how much you can save.

In detail

Whether you just want to get the paperwork right or legitimately claim all you can, this book is all you need. It offers you a wide range of tax-saving strategies in situations such as:

  • Working from home
  • Travelling on business in the UK and abroad
  • Getting the company to pay your personal bills
  • Using your own car for work
  • Hotel accomodation
  • Entertaining
  • And so much more...

If you always believe HMRC, you're sure to miss out. Naturally, it only gives a biased interpretation of what's allowed. This book will put you one step ahead with both tax-saving ideas and defensive strategies.

We've created this Handy Guide especially for... 

Company directors, business owners and managers that want to:

  • Put expenses through their business in a legitimate and tax-efficient way

Accountants and tax advisors that want to:

  • Maximise their clients' tax-efficiency whilst staying on the right side of HMRC

In this Handy Guide you'll read about...

Table of contents

Introduction

Part 1 - Expense claims

1. Why claim expenses?

1.1. Putting expenses through your business

1.2. Can you charge everything to your company?

1.3. How much can you save?

1.4. The tax rules

1.4.1. Rule 1 - Incorporated businesses

1.4.2. Rule 2 - Benefits in kind

1.4.3. Rule 3 - Employees

1.4.4. Rule 4 - Dispensations

2. Claiming through your company

2.1. How do you claim as an employee?

2.1.1. Claiming on your tax return

2.1.2. Claiming a reimbursement

2.2. How can you claim expenses as a director shareholder?

2.2.1. Director’s loan account

2.2.2. The company pays the bill

2.2.3. Dispensations from HMRC

2.2.4. Using your company credit card

3. Scrutiny from HMRC

3.1. How will HMRC know?

3.2. How should you react?

3.2.1. Does HMRC always ask the same questions?

3.2.2. Will you need to attend an interview?

3.3. Wholly and exclusively attack

3.4. Expense claims

3.5. Valuing benefits in kind

3.6. The third umpire

3.7. What if you just trust to luck?

3.7.1. What are the penalties?

3.7.2. Leave it all to your accountant?

3.7.3. How much?

3.7.4. Will you be interviewed by HMRC?

3.7.5. Can HMRC look at other years?

3.7.6. When do you negotiate?

3.7.7. How will you know if the enquiry is finished?

4. Your expenses claim

4.1. Introduction

4.2. Standard claim forms

4.2.1. Date column

4.2.2. Details to support the claim

4.2.3. Total including VAT

4.2.4. VAT recoverable column

4.2.5. Accounts use

4.2.6. Declaration box

4.3. Guidance for employees

4.4. Expenses in foreign currencies

4.5. Start-up expenses

5. Your company’s expenses policy

5.1. Introduction

5.2. Company money

5.3. Is the policy enforced?

5.4. What should you include in the policy?

5.4.1. General principles

5.4.2. Timeliness of submission

5.4.3. Receipts

5.4.4. Authorisation of expenses

5.5. Expense categories

6. Reporting requirements

6.1. Ending of dispensations

7. Mileage allowance

7.1. The expense

7.2. Business journeys

7.3. Costs incurred

7.4. VAT recovery

7.5. Dispensation available?

8. Other motoring expenses

8.1. Introduction

8.2. Examples

8.2.1. Parking

8.2.2. Tolls and congestion charges

8.2.3. Fines

8.2.4. Fuel etc. for pool vehicles

8.3. VAT

8.3.1. Parking

9. UK fares and travel

9.1. Introduction

9.2. Taxi fares

9.3. Personal travel

9.3 1. Travel with a spouse or partner

9.4. VAT

9.4.1. Taxis

9.5. Dispensation available?

9.5.1. Travel expenses policy

10. UK subsistence

10.1. The expense

10.2. Allowable subsistence and incidental expenses

10.3. Benchmark scale rates

10.3.1. What time is “breakfast” or “late evening”?

10.3.2. More than one meal a day?

10.3.3. Qualifying conditions

10.3.4. Opting in

10.4. Agreeing bespoke subsistence rates with HMRC

10.5. Incidental overnight expenses


10.6. VAT

11. Overseas travel and subsistence

11.1. Introduction

11.2. Benchmark rates for accommodation and subsistence

11.2.1. Meals provided by a host

11.2.2. HMRC’s examples

11.3. Personal travel

11.3.1. Travel with a spouse or partner

11.4. Incidental expenses

11.5. Passport and visa requirements

11.6. Exchange rates

11.7. VAT

11.7.1. VAT on EU expenses

11.8. Overseas travel policy

12. Hotels and other accommodation

12.1. The expense

12.2. Incidental expenditure

12.3. Accommodation for spouse/partner

12.4. Staying with friends

12.5. Overseas trips

12.6. VAT

12.7. Dispensation from HMRC

13. Telephones

13.1. The expense

13.2. Dispensation available?

13.3. Company policy

13.4. VAT

13.4.1. Call boxes and hotel rooms

14. Entertaining

14.1. The expense

14.1.1 Entertaining customers

14.1.2. Entertaining staff

14.1.3. Entertaining yourself

14.2. Are there potential tax savings?

14.3. The paperwork

14.3.1. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

14.3.2. On the VAT return

14.3.3. On your P11D

14.3.4. In the company’s accounts

14.3.5. Your tax return

15. Computer consumables

15.1. The expense

15.2. Exemption available?

15.3. VAT

16. Working from home

16.1. Introduction

16.2. The £4 per week allowance

16.3. Matching additional expenditure

16.4. Broadband connection

16.5. Volunteering to work from home

16.6. VAT

16.6.1. VAT on broadband connection

17. Miscellaneous expenses

17.1. The expense

17.2. Office supplies

17.2.1. VAT on office supplies

17.3. Subscriptions to professional organisations

17.4. Interest and other costs on a personal credit card

17.4.1. Cash advance handling fee

17.5. Eye tests and glasses

18. Cash advances

18.1. Cash expenses

18.2. HMRC’s view

18.3. Advances for expenses

18.4. Euros

18.5. The paperwork

18.5.1. Your expense claim

18.5.2. Company policy on overpayments

18.5.3. On the VAT return

18.5.4. On your P11D

18.5.5. Your tax return

19. Maximising VAT recovery

19.1. Introduction

19.2. Valid VAT receipts

19.2.1. What is a valid VAT receipt?

19.2.2. No receipts at all?

19.2.3. Who are your employees for VAT?

19.3. The VAT risk

19.3.1. Online help from HMRC

19.4. VAT recovery - important examples

19.4.1. Subsistence

19.4.2. Tickets

19.4.3. Reimbursement for road fuel

19.4.4. Mileage allowances

19.4.5. Parking

19.4.6. Taxis

19.5. In your expenses policy

19.6. VAT on EU expenses

19.6.1. EU automated claim system

19.7. Freelancer’s expenses

19.7.1. Setting the terms and conditions

Part 2 - Further angles and ideas

20. Use of home by a company

20.1. The expense

20.2. What are the potential tax savings?

20.3. The paperwork

20.3.1. The board minute

20.3.2. Rental agreement

20.3.3. On the VAT return

20.3.4. On your P11D

20.3.5. In the company’s accounts

20.3.6. On your tax return

21. Garden maintenance

21.1. The expense

21.2. What it might cost

21.3. What are the potential tax savings?

21.3.1. Not treated as additional salary

21.3.2. Corporation tax

21.4. The paperwork

21.4.1. The board minute

21.4.2. Your contract of employment

21.4.3. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

21.4.4. On the VAT return

21.4.5. On your P11D

21.4.6. Your tax return

22. Gifts

22.1. The expense

22.2. What are the potential tax savings?

22.3. The paperwork

22.3.1. The board minute

22.3.2. Your contract of employment

22.3.3. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

22.3.4. On the VAT return

22.3.5. On your P11D

22.3.6. In the company’s accounts

22.3.7. Your tax return

23. Language lessons

23.1. The expense

23.2. What it might cost

23.3. What are the potential tax savings?

23.4. The paperwork

23.4.1. The board minute

23.4.2. Your contract of employment

23.4.3. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

23.4.4. On the VAT return

23.4.5. On your P11D

23.4.6. In the company’s accounts

23.4.7. Your tax return

24. Magazine subscriptions

24.1. The expense

24.2. What it might cost

24.3. What are the potential tax savings?

24.4. The paperwork

24.4.1. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

24.4.2. On your P11D

24.4.3. In the company’s accounts

24.4.4. Your tax return

25. Paying for a holiday

25.1. The expense

25.2. What it might cost

25.3. What are the potential tax savings?

25.4. The paperwork

25.4.1. The board minute

25.4.2. Your contract of employment

25.4.3. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

25.4.4. On the VAT return

25.4.5. On your P11D

25.4.6. In the company’s accounts

25.4.7. Your tax return

26. Private tutors and childcare

26.1. The expense

26.2. What it might cost

26.3. What are the potential tax savings?

26.4. The paperwork

26.5. The childcare policy

26.5.1. Your contract of employment

26.5.2. On your P11D

26.5.3. In the company’s accounts

26.5.4. Your tax return

27. School fees

27.1. The expense

27.2. What are the potential tax savings?

27.2.1. Savings on your salary

27.2.2. Corporation tax

27.3. Example

27.4. The paperwork

27.4.1. The board minute

27.4.2. Your contract of employment

27.4.3. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

27.4.4. On the VAT return

27.4.5. On your P11D

27.4.6. In the company’s accounts

27.4.7. Your tax return

28. Personal trainers

28.1. The expense

28.2. What are the potential tax savings?

28.2.1. Corporation tax

28.3. The paperwork

28.3.1. Your contract of employment

28.3.2. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

28.3.3. On the VAT return

28.3.4. On your P11D

28.3.5. In the company’s accounts

28.3.6. Your tax return

29. Cars for the family

29.1. The expense

29.2. What it might cost

29.3. What are the potential tax savings?

29.4. The paperwork

29.4.1. Your contract of employment

29.4.2. Notifying HMRC of an additional car

29.4.3. On your P11D

29.4.4. Your tax return

30. Company plane (or yacht)

30.1. The expense

30.2. What are the potential tax savings?

30.3. The paperwork

30.3.1. Projected cash flow and profit and loss

30.3.2. Agreement between you and the company

30.3.3. The board minute

30.3.4. On your P11D

30.3.5. Your tax return

31. Gym membership

31.1. The expense

31.2. What are the potential tax savings?

31.2.1. Savings on your salary

31.2.2. Corporation tax

31.3. Example

31.4. The paperwork

31.4.1. The board minute

31.4.2. Contract of employment

31.4.3. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

31.4.4. On the VAT return

31.4.5. On your P11D

31.4.6. In the company’s accounts

31.4.7. On your tax return

32. Garage storage

32.1. The expense

32.2. The paperwork

32.2.1. Rental agreement

32.2.2. On the VAT return

32.2.3. On your P11D

32.2.4. In the company’s accounts

32.2.5. On your tax return

33. Nannies

33.1. The expense

33.2. What it might cost

33.2.1. If you directly employ a nanny

33.2.2. As a benefit in kind from your company

33.3. What are the potential tax savings?

33.4. The paperwork

33.4.1. The board minute

33.4.2. Contract of employment

33.4.3. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

33.4.4. On the VAT return

33.4.5. On your P11D

33.4.6. In the company’s accounts

33.4.7. On your tax return

34. The weekend away

34.1. The expense

34.2. What are the potential tax savings?

34.3. The paperwork

34.3.1. The board minute

34.3.2. Invoices

34.3.3. On the VAT return

34.3.4. On your P11D

34.3.5. In the company’s accounts

34.3.6. Your tax return


35. Domestic help

35.1. The expense

35.2. What it might cost

35.3. What are the potential tax savings?

35.4. The paperwork

35.4.1. Your contract of employment

35.4.2. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

35.4.3. On the VAT return

35.4.4. On your P11D

35.4.5. In the company’s accounts

35.4.6. Your tax return

36. Use of the company villa

36.1. The expense

36.2. What it might cost

36.3. What are the potential tax savings?

36.4. The paperwork

36.4.1. Marketing campaign

37.4.2. Agreement with the company

36.4.3. Contracts with/invoices from suppliers

36.4.4. Value of the accommodation

36.4.5. VAT

36.4.6. On your P11D

36.4.7. In the company’s accounts

36.4.8. Your tax return

37. Advisors’ fees

37.1. The expense

37.2. What it might cost

37.3. What are the potential tax savings?

37.4. The paperwork

37.4.1. The board minute

37.4.2. Your contract of employment

37.4.3. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

37.4.4. On the VAT return

37.4.5. On your P11D

37.4.6. In the company’s accounts

37.4.7. Your tax return

38. Parking near work

38.1. The expense

38.2. What it might cost

38.3. What are the potential tax savings?

38.4. The paperwork

38.4.1. Parking permit

38.4.2. Salary sacrifice

38.4.3. On your P11D

38.4.4. In the company’s accounts

38.4.5. Your tax return

39. Computer equipment

39.1. The expense

39.2. What it might cost

39.3. What are the potential tax savings?

39.3.1. Savings on your salary

39.3.2. VAT

39.4. The paperwork

39.4.1. Contract of employment

39.4.2. Contract with/invoice from the supplier

39.4.3. On the VAT return

39.4.4. On your P11D

39.4.5. In the company’s accounts

39.4.6. On your tax return

Technical notes

Use of home by a company

Garden maintenance

Gifts

Language lessons

Magazine subscriptions

Paying for a holiday

Private tutors

School fees

Personal trainer

Cars for the family

Company plane (or yacht)

Gym membership

Garage storage

Nannies

The weekend away

Domestic help

Use of the company villa

Advisors’ fees

Parking near work

Computer equipment

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