In September 2009, former finance director Mark Telford set up on his own as a sole practitioner working from home in Kent.
As part of his preparations, he created a website and joined networks like LinkedIn. All sensible ways to build a client base. But when he posted about a straightforward “use of home as office” calculation spreadsheet, he set off a minor feeding frenzy.
More than 230 contacts requested the spreadsheet.
“I’m sick and tired of seeing discussions [on LinkedIn] which are trying a hard sell,” Telford said. “By offering information for free, I managed to engage with potential clients and have what you could call a ‘warm referral’ for future work.
Telford had concocted the calculator to deal with his own situation, but quickly realised there would be others in the same boat. “I had completely underestimated the amount I could reasonably claim as business expenses. For a long time, it was widely accepted that individuals could charge a nominal £2 per week [rising to £3 a week from August 2009) as a notional tax deductible expense in respect of using a room within their home for business,” he said.
If you would like a copy of Mark's home use tax calculator, email your request to him via Info [at] telfordassociates.com.