Claiming for expenses can be complicated. You want to get the most out of your claims but it’s not always clear what can be claimed and what shouldn’t be included. Especially if you work as a childminder in the UK.
Most individuals in this field work from their homes, minding children for working parents. Childminders face a variety of costs in running their business, many of which are eligible for claiming against tax.
While income is usually subject to Income Tax as gross income, if you’re a childminder and a member of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), you could benefit from the agreement between HMRC and PACEY concerning the expenses that you are able to claim against tax.
Categories for claims
There are few different areas under which you can claim allowances as a childminder. These have to do with the day-to-day running of your business and the impacts on your workspace (household, in many cases).
Because your residence is the location of your business, you can claim a percentage of the general costs of utilities that keep it running. However, the percentage you can claim is linked directly to the number of hours you put into childminding over each week.
For example, if you work 30 hours per week, you can claim 25% of your heating and lighting expenses, and 7% of your Water rates, Council Tax, and rent, if applicable.
Wear and tear on furnishings
In the course of running a business out of your home and working with children, it’s inevitable that you might encounter some general wear and tear (more likely stains and rips?) on your household furnishings.
This wear and tear is also eligible for claiming. It applies also to furnishings that are not used directly in the daily childminding activities. It does not, however, meant to cover full replacement of items - mainly costs of cleaning and repair.
Food and beverages for children
Any food and drink you purchase to provide to the children in your charge are eligible to be claimed against tax. Snacks and sweets too!
If you use your car during working hours and/or use it to transport children, you can apply the basic mileage claim rates. Alternatively, a childminder can claim the actual costs for vehicle operation.
As a childminder, you’re sure to encounter other categories of expenses when taking care of children. These can include items for fun or educational purposes such as toys and books, it can also include outings taken with the children and any form of transportation used to get there.
Costs for safety equipment such as first aid kits, plasters, etc. are also eligible to be claimed as are fees for membership to an association for childminders.
Make the most of your claim
Childminders can claim a variety of different expenses encountered when running their business, so it’s important to understand what you can claim in order to get the most from your tax return.