A friend of a friend will be dropping in shortly, probably for me to do his last-second 2018/19 tax return (he will expect it done for free!)
He is a bit of a Walter Mitty character, cagey with his facts, but generally a nice person. I know I am going to have to turn him away, but I think I know what he is going to ask.
In a previous conversation, he let on that for 2017/18 he was on the payroll as an employed caretaker for someone who had a contract for the maintenance of an old mill now housing business units. Anyway, he was given his P45 during 2017/18 but kept on as the caretaker for the same outfit, but on a self-employed basis. I just know he is going to want to ask me about claiming his home to work return mileage for what will essentially be commuting (as it was when he was employed). I also know he is going to ask about use of home as office.
Now, he will defintely be raising invoices from home. He may also field the odd business telephone call from home as well. But as far as I can see, it would appear that the person who had the maintenance contract with the mill must have decided that he could not be bothered with the PAYE hassle of a caretaker employee on the books. Far simpler just to get the caretaker to hand him the periodic invoice for work done. (About £11,000 per annum). But that is the "employer's" problem - nothing to do with me.
Now, when I turn this "friend of a friend" away (far too risky a job for zero reward), he is going to think I am nuts because his will have trouble getting his head around the key concepts of "self-employed commuting" and "use of home as office" when in reality his work starts, finishes and is done in a mill about 10 miles away.
I would really appreciate how I can let down this Walter Mitty character without hurting him too much. I have thought of saying "why don't you get yourself a proper job", but that may hurt him a little seeing that he has been trying to "get a proper job" for the last 40 years!
P.S. He has small amount of pension income and other small genuine PAYE income, so he is a few £1,000 over the personal allowance limit.