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CMs - Does anyone claim actual car expenses rather than mileage?

(3 Posts)
minderjinx Mon 04-Mar-13 19:34:42

I am tentatively thinking about changing my car. For work purposes I could do with a large people carrier or minivan, but if I were not childminding I would prefer something a lot smaller and more economical. I wonder if anyone has experience and can advise me on whether I could claim any car purchase expenses, loan payments or lease purchase payments as CM expenses. If so, what happens if I either later sell the car or stop minding (or both)? Is there an idiot-proof guide to vehicle expenses and childminding? Do I need an accountant? confused

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Mon 04-Mar-13 19:37:57

I use an accountant because the thought of doing my tax return makes me feel sick to my very core!!

She recommends that when you change cars, you keep a log of both the expenses AND the mileage and then claim whichever gives you the bigger tax break. HTH.

MrAnchovy Mon 04-Mar-13 22:26:03

You can claim a proportion of actual expenses, including operating lease payments or interest on a loan. You can only claim part of the purchase cost using "Capital Allowances" which are very restrictive for cars: when you sell or stop using the car for your business there is an adjustment that ensures you don't get tax relief on more than the difference between purchase and sale price (or value).

Whichever way you claim you need to keep a log of business journeys (unless you don't use the car at all for non-business journeys) so like Alliwantisaroomsomewhere's accountant I recommend that you wait until you have some experience of cost and usage before you commit to a method - if you buy the car after 5 April 2013 you have until 31 January 2016 to finally commit (although you must submit your tax return by 31 Jan 2015 you can resubmit it up to a year later).

The Capital Allowance rules for cars are here but they are complicated and change frequently: I recommend an accountant if you want to go down this route.

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