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CM Tax return question (sorry!) - Am I overcomplicating this?

(3 Posts)
minderjinx Fri 04-Jan-13 18:03:16

When you claim for utilities, differing percentages depending on how many hours a week you work, do you take hours off for public holidays, or indeed for any days you take off as leave?

I usually work 42 hours a week, unless I am on holiday myself or it is a bank holiday when all parents are off at the same time and keep their children home. I have for many years worked out weekly figures for utilities and put in different percentages for different weeks if I had a day or more off, including bank holidays. I have just been told "nobody" bothers to do this and that full time is full time - all I should do is take a percentage based on the total bills for the year and my normal hours. I can't find any advice either way on this - or indeed remember why I originally started doing it the way I am. Can anyone shed any light?

HSMM Fri 04-Jan-13 18:22:28

It's supposed to be the actual hours you worked.

MrAnchovy Fri 04-Jan-13 20:38:30

You probably started doing it that way because most of the guides for childminder accounts tell you to - that is not the only thing they get wrong sad

I usually recommend childminders to add up all your hours for the year and divide by 52. For most childminders working 10 hour days this works out over 40 hours per week anyway.

However the exact words of the concession are "A childminder looking after a child on a full time basis for 40 or more hours each week is entitled to claim the full time proportion of expenses." Now just because you take bank holidays and 4 or 5 weeks holiday a year doesn't mean you are not "looking after a child on a full time basis" - that would imply you only work term-times, or some other period that is less than what childminders normally work.

So yes, you are full time and you can claim the full percentages.

Note however that if you don't look after your own children while childminding you may be able to claim a higher proportion of a wider range of expenses (including mortgage interest) - if this applies to you, see a good accountant.

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