Home based business

At first glance, Paul Mellor’s recent Tribunal victory was nothing to write home about. Mellor, a self employed electrician living in Ruislip, successfully argued his home was his business base and won his appeal against an increased amendment to his self assessment, in which HMRC had disallowed a proportion of his motor expenses. HMRC had contended Mellor’s home could not be considered to be his business base.

Mellor travelled from his home to the various sites he was engaged to work at and claimed business mileage when he closed his front door and got into his car to set off for work. The majority of readers familiar with this subject will immediately recognise that Mellor should have won because of the precedent set by the Horton v Young (40TC60) tax case. As usual, HMRC sought to apply the factors featured in the Newsom v Robertson (33TC452) tax case. The full decision can be found at www.financeandtaxtribunals.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=5275

What is interesting about this victory is the thinking behind the Tribunal’s decision, as it potentially reignites the whole debate about what constitutes the business base for all trades and professions, and may be particularly relevant to professionals such as Hospital Consultants and barristers.

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